He is Virat Kohli’s go-to-man in limited overs cricket when the team needs a wicket. While the modern era has seen batsmen take spinners to the cleaners in the shorter formats, chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav rarely fails to answer his skipper’s call.
“If your captain believes in you, giving your best on the field becomes easy. From Virat, we learn a lot of things, like how to manage difficult situations. He never fails to motivate young players. When I was new to the team, he backed me a lot. In fact, even now, he is always there for me,” said Kuldeep.
“He always appreciates your skills and we have a great tuning together. The best quality of Virat is that he also understands the team and the players well. That makes our job easy on the field.” While a cricketer’s place is on the field, the pandemic has ensured that the spinner has spent most of the last few months indoors.
Kuldeep said he has looked to spend quality time with his family apart from working on his fitness and controlling his love for food. “Lockdown must be difficult for a lot of people, but I have got so much time to rest, and my body has recovered from the injuries. I spend a good amount of time with my family but at the same time it has been a challenge maintaining peak fitness. It was difficult at the start, but slowly things are falling into place.
“I made a proper schedule for myself and I am sticking to it. I am continuously in touch with the BCCI trainers, which has made the whole process easier. I am a foodie and the only issue I have had is to follow a strict diet as the workout has not been as intense as it used to be. Hence, following a diet has been of utmost importance. Sometimes I rest, and cheat on my diet but I try my best to stick to the routine,” he smiled.
Now that the rules are being relaxed and players will slowly start individual training before hitting the national team camp, what is his plan of action? “We will need time to get back to the routine. It will be difficult for everyone. But at the same time, if you are doing your regular drills at home, and if your focus is maintained, it will be easier for you to get back to your form quickly,” he added.