IND vs SL 3rd T20I: It's mind over matter for Kuldeep Yadav

Updated: Jan 10, 2020, 07:40 IST | SS Ramaswamy | Pune

On the eve of today's third Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka, chinaman Yadav says he is stressing on strong mental preparation to succeed in 2020

Kuldeep Yadav celebrates a SL wicket  with skipper Virat Kohli on Tuesday. Pic /AFP
Kuldeep Yadav celebrates a SL wicket with skipper Virat Kohli on Tuesday. Pic /AFP

Pune: Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav has vowed to be mentally better prepared to face challenges in T20 Internationals this year, that includes the Asia Cup in September and the World T20 Championship a month later, after figuring in just two out of sixteen matches that India played in the year that has just ended.

"It [2019] was a tough one. I learned a lot of things and the biggest positive was getting to know that I could have planned things better. I want to be more mentally prepared this year," said Kuldeep who had played just one T20 game at Hamilton in February 2019 before figuring in the playing XI in the T20 International against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai last December.

Kuldeep picked up two wickets for 38 in his comeback game in Mumbai. He then figured in the playing XI in the washed out series opener currently on against Sri Lanka at Guwahati and then picked up 2 for 38 against the Islanders at Indore in the second game on Tuesday.

He is all set to make his third appearance in the third and deciding match here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium here today.

In contrast to Kuldeep his right arm wrist spin partner Yuzvendra Chahal had played nine games in 2019, lanky off spinner Washington Sundar 11, left arm spinners Krunal Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja 12 and 6 each respectively.

"If I thought more and gave more time to myself, I could have performed better. In 2020, I will try to plan every game better and give myself more time, so I get more time to reflect on my game," said the Kanpur-born spinner.

Kuldeep said he concentrated more on restriction when India was defending a total. "Whenever we are defending a total, I focus more on containing," he said.

He also credited the Indian fast bowlers for taking a lot of load off the slow bowlers in Tests. "You are seeing in Test cricket that great performances are coming from the pacers, so there is lesser load on spinners. Even in the last match [T20 game at Indore], when I came to bowl it was already 10 overs and the way that they [pacers] bowled, spinners could take chances to do something different."

India players train at Pune’s MCA Stadium yesterday. PIC/Mandar TannuIndia players train at Pune's MCA Stadium yesterday. Pic/Mandar Tannu

Sri Lanka's head coach Micky Arthur defended the decision to drop his team's most experienced batsman Angelo Mathews from the Indore game's playing XI, saying he wanted initially to continue with the squad that beat Pakistan 3-0 in Pakistan and because the former captain had not played for over a year.

"Angelo brings a wealth of experience but he has not played in 16 months, that was the only reason," said Arthur.

"It was my first T20 game with the team. I was reliant on starting from where they last finished with. We needed to start from a base and then look at how we can tinker with the team and how we could get to everybody's specific role. It will take time.

"We are in a developmental, transitional phase. I want to familiarise myself with the brand of cricket these people play," he added.

02
No. of T20Is played by Kuldeep Yadav last year

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