Kuldeep Yadav has been a revelation for the Indian team ever since he made his international debut in March this year. The Chinaman bowler has provided the much-needed cushion to skipper Virat Kohli in terms of not being too dependent on R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for breakthroughs. He has also added variety to the spin department for Team India.
If Yadav is reaping rich rewards for his efforts, a lot of credit goes to former India coach Anil Kumble, according to India batsman Suresh Raina. Yadav made his Test debut in the final Test against Australia at Dharamsala when Kumble was the coach.
Kumble's tireless efforts
Before Yadav was handed the elusive India cap, Kumble worked tirelessly with him from the first Test of the Australia series in Pune — making him bowl hours in the nets and during the breaks. "Yeah, he's doing well. I guess credit goes to Anil bhai. He worked really hard on him. When I was speaking to him during IPL and first-class cricket, he always used to message Anil bhai and he's a product of Anil Kumble. He's done so much for him. He's done well with Brad Hogg as well, the Chinaman for KKR," said Raina at a promotional event in the city yesterday. Though Yadav recently refused to entertain any talk of replacing Ashwin or Jadeja, the Uttar Pradesh lad, through his performances, has ensured that Team India does not miss their senior spinners too much.
Yadav has raced to 18 wickets in 10 ODI innings and five wickets in four T20 Internationals in his maiden year of international cricket. In two Tests, he has nine wickets to his credit. In the last ODI series against Australia, Yadav became only the third Indian to claim a hat-trick in the 50-over format for India.
'Yadav's a game-changer'
Raina expects Yadav to be the game-changer of the bowling department. "He's the guy who'll change everything in the bowling department. Look at the Aussies, they were somehow smashing other spinner, but couldn't rotate (the strike against) him. He's done well for Uttar Pradesh; he's done well in the U-19 World Cup and you'll see him shining more very soon (for Team India)," said Raina.
Raina on Yo-Yo test: I am fit, ask BCCI
India batsman Suresh Raina claimed that he is fit, but sidestepped the question when asked about the reports of failing the Yo-Yo test, the new benchmark set by the Indian team management regarding new fitness standards. "Ask the BCCI. When time comes I will speak. I am fit," said Raina. "I’m having a good run. But if you ask BCCI, you will know better."