India’s premier left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav is striving hard to curb his natural instinct of applying saliva on the ball as ICC has imposed restrictions on the same in the post-COVID world. Kuldeep, who has started training in earnest, is bowling four hours daily after the central government eased down the lockdown restrictions. BCCI urging players to start their skill training at the local level, Kuldeep under the tutelage of his childhood coach Kapil Pandey is sweating it out at the local Rovers ground, where he learnt all his cricket. Also Read - Hot Weather, Unique Indian Genome Claims Fall Flat as COVID Now More Potent Than Ever
“I have started training at the Rovers ground in Lal Bangla area. In fact I am doing two sessions per day. In the morning from 7:30 to 9 am, I do my physical training. Then I go back home and come back in the evening. From 4 pm to 8 pm, I am regularly bowling in the nets,” Kuldeep was quoted by PTI Bhasha during an interaction. Also Read - Coronavirus in Assam: Week-long Complete Lockdown in Dima Hasao District From Monday, Govt Says Guwahati in ‘Real Pandemic Phase’
“It’s only been a week that I have started outdoor training. All this while, I was at home maintaining social distancing norms. Now I believe within next few weeks, I would be ready for competitive cricket as and when it starts,” said Yadav, who has played 6 Tests, 60 ODIs and 21 T20 Internationals for the country. Also Read - Two Arrested For Posing as 'Covid Officers', & Duping Man of Rs 54,000 in Mumbai
For the 25-year-old, the biggest concern is controlling the habit of using saliva, something that he feels is conditioned to follow.
“Look, since childhood, we have this habit of applying saliva on the ball to keep the shine. With new ICC rules in place, I am trying to get rid of the habit.”
“I believe it needs to be imbibed in training sessions first. Hopefully, we will have some alternative in place,” said Kuldeep, who already has 167 international wickets, across formats, in his kitty.
ICC has banned the use of saliva but players can use sweat to shine the ball.
Asked what is the format he would like to play once cricket resumes, Kuldeep said that T20 will be his choice.
“Once competitive cricket resumes, I would prefer playing IPL. That is in case normalcy returns.”
While he has started training, he feels that cricket is not priority right now when the country us struggling badly to flatten the curve of COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have seen the crisis of migrant labourers across India especially in Delhi and Mumbai. People are jobless and you can’t just think about your sport,” said the talented spinner.
So how has he helped people who have faced financial distress? Kuldeep replied, “I have always believed in this philosophy that charity should be done quietly. Yes, I am associated with a few NGOs plus I have tried to help people in my native Kanpur.”
“But if you ask me to divulge details, I won’t because in my opinion, that’s not the right thing to do,” Kuldeep added.