Once hailed as the “next big thing” for Team India in the limited-overs format – wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has lately found himself in a tricky situation after being dropped from the T20I squads against West Indies and India. For his incredible control, skill and guile – Kuldeep has carved a niche for himself in the shorter formats of the game. However, his recent omission from T20I squads for India’s last two series hasn’t bothered the young spinner as he feels it is an opportunity for him to do well in five-day cricket. “So far, I have done a good job in the limited-overs format. I feel very comfortable with the white ball,” says Kuldeep.
“I am not worried about not being picked for the last two T20I series. Maybe the selectors felt I needed a break. Maybe the team thinks some changes are required. I respect that, and I have no complaints. I see this as an opportunity to do well in Tests,” the 24-year-old cricketer said.
Kuldeep was part of the India A side for the second unofficial Test against South Africa A, which ended in a draw in Mysore on Friday. The wrist-spinner had a decent outing in the game, scalping 4 for 121 in 29 overs in the only innings India bowled in the match.
In 68 T20 matches since that 2016 T20 World Cup, Kuldeep has taken 81 wickets at an average of 22.97 (ninth-best in the world, second among Indians), and an economy rate of 7.60 (fifth among Indians). And, he feels wrist spinners are in demand currently.
“There is no doubt that wrist spinners are dominating the world,” Kuldeep said.
“But sometimes, when you try to stop runs, you actually turn out to be expensive. We need to work on our accuracy. You need to accept that you do get hit for runs and work on being economical.”
Kuldeep, however, feels it is very difficult to adjust to red-ball cricket after consistently featuring in the limited-overs formats. “It’s hard to play red-ball cricket when you aren’t consistently playing that format,” he said. “If you aren’t a regular in this format, it takes time to get into your rhythm. When you are consistently playing limited-overs and suddenly switch to Tests without much preparation, it will be tough to excel.
He said with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in fray for Tests, he will have to utilise the limited chances he gets.
“When three spinners like Ashwin, Jaddu and I are in the squad, it’s challenging to pick the right combination. You need to be ready to grab your chance. Of course, there is pressure because you only get a few chances, and you have to make full use of them,” Kuldeep said.