'I will always remember that I picked up five wickets against Pakistan when I retire.'
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav believes tweaks in his technique, including a straighter run-up and an aggressive rhythm, has helped him to improve his bowling and achieve success in ODI cricket.
The 28-year-old has taken 27 wickets from 14 matches this year, the highest by an Indian bowler in ODIs.
"After the (knee) surgery (last year), my run-up has become much straighter, and rhythm has become aggressive. My hand used to fall over but that has been controlled and now it is facing the batsman," said Kuldeep after India's 228-run victory against Pakistan in the Asia Cup Super Fours match in Colombo on Monday.
Kuldeep said he had worked on spin and drift post his surgery to improve his efficiency.
"I exerted care not to lose my spin and drift without losing my pace. If a leg-spinner lands the ball on a good length, he can pick up wickets more regularly and loose balls can be reduced. You can be consistent," he added.
Kuldeep said he worked with National Cricket Academy physio Ashish Koushik post his surgery to reduce the burden on his knee while landing in the crease.
"I did not want to lose my zip, nip or drift. After surgery I went for a three-month recuperation at NCA and physio Ashish Koushik said I had to reduce the load on my knee. So, I worked to make my rhythm faster," he said.
However, Kuldeep said it took him some time to make the remodelled action work at the top level cricket.
"I tried the new action in a practice game in Kanpur. The batsmen were struggling to face me. But even in the IPL and during the tour of the West Indies I was struggling with it (action).
"It took some 6-7 matches for me to make work at this level," said Kuldeep.
His (5/25) five-wicket haul against Pakistan powered India to a big win and Kuldeep said he will always remember this effort as it came against a top opposition.
"I will always remember that I picked up five wickets against Pakistan when I retire. It is a big thing for me because Pakistan players can play spin well. If you perform against a side that plays spin well in the subcontinent, it motivates you," he said.