Dismissing Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni on My Bucket List This IPL: Kuldeep Yadav

Baidurjo Bhose |Cricketnext | Updated: April 2, 2018, 12:25 PM IST
Dismissing Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni on My Bucket List This IPL: Kuldeep Yadav

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New Delhi: Kuldeep Yadav might be a vital cog in the Indian limited-overs outfit and a bowler skipper Virat Kohli turns to every time he needs a wicket. But Kuldeep’s rise through the ranks has had a lot to do with the time he has spent at Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. Starting off as a back-up for Sunil Narine and Brad Hogg, Kuldeep is now their strike bowler. And the 23-year-old who is rising up the ladder on the international stage, has a bucket list going into the 11th edition of the cash-rich league and on top of that is dismissing Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Speaking to CricketNext Kuldeep said that bowling to Kohli and Dhoni is something he is looking forward to and dismissing two of the best players of spin in world cricket would be the icing on the cake for the chinaman bowler.

“I would be lying if I said I don’t have any personal goals going into this season of the IPL. I too have a bucket list and I wish to dismiss Kohli and Dhoni. You don’t get better players of spin bowling and the IPL is the only tournament when you get to have a go at them. Sometimes I feel I am privileged that I am in the same team as them and don’t need to bowl to them on the international stage (laughs). But this year I want to dismiss them and this is the tournament that gives me that opportunity,” he said.

Success in the IPL made him a name to reckon with and Kuldeep feels that the cash-rich league is an important tournament when it comes to making a mark.

“The IPL has always been big and I have always looked forward to being a part of the tournament. Initially people would say that it is a format for the batsmen and there is nothing for the bowlers, but I have always felt that it is the perfect platform for any cricketer if you wish to make a name for yourself and get noticed.

“You get to play not just against the best in the business, but also get to share the dressing room with some of the big names and learn a lot from the professionalism and the dedication that is on display,” he said.

Kuldeep had an immensely successful tour of South Africa before the selectors decided to give him some rest ahead of the IPL. Asked if he feels added pressure going into one of the most successful domestic tournaments, Kuldeep said: “There is always pressure to perform when you walk onto the field. But what is important is how you channelize that to ensure that you achieve your goals. I don’t think there is any added pressure. It is more about being able to tick the right boxes than anything else.”

Any talk with Kuldeep regarding the IPL is incomplete without discussing Hogg and Kuldeep is ever grateful to the Australian for helping him shape into the bowler that he is today. “I have picked on his brain through the years. Our art is anyway rare. I feel I was lucky to have someone like him in my own team. It helped to get to see him from close quarters. I was always open to his ideas and tried to learn as much as I could,” he revealed.

After a long time, the KKR unit has had a complete overhaul of sorts with Gautam Gambhir being roped in by Delhi Daredevils and Dinesh Karthik being named KKR captain. But Kuldeep doesn’t make much of the change of faces.

“I feel fresh faces doesn’t change the willingness to go out and perform. We are in it to win it and the fresh faces mean new friendships and getting to know some other players over the next two months. The IPL is as much about high-quality cricket as it is about enjoying yourself and soaking in the atmosphere over the next two months,” he signed off.

(The interview was done during India’s participation in the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy T20I series in Sri Lanka)

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First Published: April 2, 2018, 8:34 AM IST

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