India’s top spinner in white-ball cricket Kuldeep Yadav was confident of a better outing in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) after learning a lesson or two after his ordinary performance last season. Kuldeep says he was ‘lacking in the basics’ in the last edition owing to playing one too many games, leading to an IPL that could have been better than how it turned out. He said he didn’t plan enough last time but is confident of ‘100 percent success’ in IPL 2020 whose fate hangs in balance because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - Dinesh Karthik Talks About Training Schedule Post COVID-19 Break, Says Need Minimum 4 Weeks to Achieve Match Fitness
In IPL 2019, the 25-year-old Kuldeep picked up four wickets in nine matches at a poor average of 71.50 and an economy closer to 9. After getting a good hammering in most of the matches, he was dropped from the KKR playing XI. However, Kuldeep was confident about his form going into this year’s IPL, he said: “I was fully prepared for this IPL 2020 and I had planned a lot. I was 100 percent sure that this IPL would be a success,” Kuldeep was quoted as saying in Kolkata Knight Riders website. Also Read - Delhi Capitals' Pacer Kagiso Rabada Rues IPL Postponement, Clears Air Around His On-field Aggression
Asked about last season, Kuldeep spoke about why he struggled to get going. “When I came into IPL, I didn’t give myself enough time to train. The biggest learning from 2019 was that I did not plan for the season. Also Read - England Captain Joe Root in Doubt For First Test vs West Indies Due to ECB's COVID-19 Self-isolation Rule
“There was a lot of cricket in 2019, especially international cricket. I joined the team just three days before the IPL started. So the planning wasn’t good. The involvement wasn’t good either. And that is very important,” he said.
“I don’t think the last IPL was all that bad for me. I bowled very well. But a leg-spinner’s success is based on the number of wickets he picks. I didn’t manage to pick many wickets, but my economy was good.”
“The lack of wickets dented his confidence,” the spinner said.
“When you don’t pick wickets your confidence drops a bit. Then there was a game where I went for a lot of runs. So my confidence level dropped,” Kuldeep admitted.
“I was lacking in the basics. Playing a lot of cricket affects your basics. If you are in regular touch with your coach then your basics won’t be affected.”
He heaped praise on former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, saying he had a “big influence” on his career in his early years at the Knight Riders.
“Gauti bhai (Gambhir) had a huge influence on me from the start of my stint at KKR. He always spoke to me a lot. Not only during the time he was at KKR, but even after that, over these last two years,” Kuldeep said.
“He always kept me motivated. When you get that kind of confidence from your captain, it becomes a huge plus point for any player. It helps you remain confident, and that translates into good performances.”