Kolkata: Rare are those players who get a chance to represent their country even before making their first-class debut. And the young Kuldeep Yadav, finds himself in this category, after being selected for the first three ODIs against the West Indies.
Kuldeep Yadav bowls against Scotland during the U-19 World Cup in Dubai earlier this year. Pic/Getty Images
Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, the 19-year-old chinaman bowler, has not yet made it to the state's Ranji side. He caught the selectors' eyes during the U-19 World Cup in UAE earlier this year, where he emerged the second highest wicket taker with 14 scalps, and was also impressive during the just-concluded CLT20.
Kuldeep reached Kochi yesterday morning for his new assignment, having spent a few hours at home after the CLT20 final between his team Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings. So, did he interact with India and CSK skipper MS Dhoni? "Yes, I met the captain and had a small chat with him at the Chinnaswamy Stadium," Kuldeep told mid-day yesterday.
Keen to learn
He then spoke about his favourite bowler Shane Warne, on whose advice he began working on strengthening his shoulders a couple of years ago. "I was surprised to see him at the National Cricket Academy.
I requested him to teach me how to bowl flippers. He told me not to be in a hurry and concentrate on building my fitness and strength especially in the shoulders." Recalling how he turned into a chinaman bowler having begun as a pacer, Kuldeep said, "My coach Kapil Pandey told me I should attempt something interesting at the nets. That's how it began. After that I have worked hard on improving my bowling."
Kuldeep is not worried about not having found a place in the UP Ranji team yet, saying: "I missed out on a place in the Ranji Trophy team. Now people are asking how I am in the Indian team. Frankly, I did not expect it, but I will grab the opportunity with both hands. As for Ranji Trophy, I am sure I will play it some day."
The number of wickets Kuldeep Yadav has taken in the nine T20 matches he has played so far