Leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has credited NCA coaches for his fitness as the left-arm claimed three wickets against Sri Lanka in the second ODI at Eden Gardens. Kuldeep got a chance in playing XI on Thursday as Yuzvendra Chahal missed out after sustaining a minor injury in the series opener. The 28-year-old grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he claimed three wickets to trigger a collapse in Sri Lanka’s middle order.
Kuldeep set the base for a four-wicket victory to take India towards an unassailable 2-0 series victory.
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As he enjoyed another ‘Player of the Match’ award, albeit in coloured clothing, all Kuldeep would want for his 3/51 and 10 not out is a fair run.
“I’m happy with my performance. Whatever opportunities I get, I try to do my best and back my abilities. When you play, you have to be focused while you can be relaxed when you aren’t in the 11. At the moment, I’m really enjoying my bowling," said Kuldeep in the post-match presentation ceremony.
He struck in his very first over by breaking the 73-run stand between Nuwanidu Fernando and Kusal Mendis by trapping the latter lbw with a top-spinner. He then bowled captain Dasun Shanaka around his legs when he was shaping up to play a sweep. Kuldeep then foxed Charith Asalanka with his dip to complete a simple caught and bowled dismissal.
Talking about uncertainty over his place in the XI, Kuldeep admitted that team combinations are important but said he keeps himself ready to give his best for the team whenever the opportunities come.
“However, team combinations are important, I don’t think too much about it, just focused on doing my best when the chances come," he added.
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The 28-year-old said that in IPL and T20Is, he pushes the ball a bit faster and he did the same on the day.
“I bowl faster in the IPL and T20Is also to give the batter one run. So I just did that here also."
Kuldeep said that the work he has put in the NCA last year has helped him in the fitness aspect which allowed him to be more aggressive on the field.
“I’ve worked on my batting, I keep my focus on that whenever I don’t get a game. In the last one year, I’ve worked a lot also on my fitness, all credit to the NCA coaches. It has helped me get into a rhythm and be more aggressive," he added.
He also talked about his camaraderie with Yuzvendra Chahal and said that the senior spinner keeps giving him valuable advices
“Yuzi has always supported me, obviously he knew how the batters play having played the earlier games so he keeps advising me," he concluded.
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