Kuldeep wanted to be an Akram; nothing doing said coach Kapil Pandey

Updated: Apr 07, 2017, 11:06 IST | Santosh Suri

The story of spinner Kuldeep Yadav, son of a brick kiln owner, is quite interesting. He wanted to become a left-arm fast bowler, following in the footsteps of his idol Wasim Akram

Wasim AkramWasim Akram

Kanpur: There is a general belief among former Uttar Pradesh players as well as his coach that Kuldeep Yadav should have been included in the playing XI the moment he was called in as replacement for the injured Amit Mishra before the one-off Test match against Bangladesh. If not, surely against the Australians from the first Test itself. They believe India then would have been 3-0 up going into the last Test in Dharamsala.

That is hypothetical, but seeing the way the Kanpur lad, the first chinaman bowler to play for India, performed on his Test debut on Saturday at the scenic venue hosting its first Test, one will tend to agree with them.

Undoubtedly Yadav has brought a breath of fresh air into the jaded spin bowling attack which failed to dismantle the Aussie batting on the final day of the third Test at Ranchi.

His Kanpur-based coach Kapil Pandey had kept Yadav's spirit high even when he was warming the benches during the series against the Aussies. "He was a bit disappointed but I told him he would have his day. It has finally happened," Pandey told mid-day.

Pandey, who had advised Yadav to bowl chinaman instead of pace in his early days in the game, said Kuldeep was mature enough to bowl against any batting side in the world.

"Bowling in tandem with R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the earlier Tests, India would have overpowered the Aussies easily," he said.

Kuldeep Yadav. Pic/PTIKuldeep Yadav. Pic/PTI

The story of Yadav, son of a brick kiln owner, is quite interesting. Initially, he wanted to become a left-arm fast bowler, following in the footsteps of his idol Wasim Akram, till he ran into coach Pandey in Kanpur. Pandey, on seeing his not-so-impressive physique then, advised him to become a spinner.

And when the first ball he bowled turned out to be a chinaman, the coach told him to stick to the unusual style. And that advice has paid dividend.

"When as a 13-year-old I went to an academy in Kanpur, my coach Kapil Sir felt I should bowl spin since I didn't have the physique for a fast bowler. As fate would have it, I bowled a chinaman first up. Though, my coach was surprised, he encouraged me to stick to it," Kuldeep had told this correspondent when he first came into limelight a year ago.

Kuldeep was included in the ODI squad for the 2014 series against West Indies but didn't get to play.

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