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Match aggression with aggression: Kuldeep's recipe for success

Source: PTI
June 23, 2024 11:13 IST
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IMAGE: Kuldeep Yadav is India's best spinner across formats over the past 12 months. Photograph: BCCI/X

Kuldeep Yadav believes in fighting fire with fire in the T20 format and it is this aggressive approach which is helping the Indian wrist spinner achieve instant success in the Caribbean leg of the T20 World Cup.

Kuldeep, India's best spinner across formats over the past 12 months, was benched in the league stage of the tournament in USA due to the surfaces in New York.


The wily operator was expected to play a major role on the spin-friendly tracks in the Caribbean and he is doing exactly that in the Super 8s. Kuldeep has already taken five wickets in the two games he has been part of, including a three-wicket haul against Bangladesh on Saturday.

A big part of Kuldeep's success across formats is down to his approach. He is never afraid to toss the ball from length even when the opposition batters are looking to attack. The Bangladesh batters were unable to pick him from his hands and the India spinner ended being all over the opposition.

He dismissed opener Tanzid Hasan with a googly before trapping Towhid Hridoy in front with a straighter ball, while Shakib Al Hasan was his third victim.

Explaining his mindset, Kuldeep said he doesn't compromise on his length.

"For any spinner around the globe, the length matters a lot. And especially in this format, you have to read what the batter is trying to do, be more aggressive, the approach should be like very - very aggressive. So that is actually helping me during IPL and it's actually helping me in T20 World Cup," said Kuldeep on Saturday.

He will face his toughest test yet against Australia on Monday.

Asked how he sticks to his game plan even when the batters are looking for boundaries, Kuldeep said: "When the other team needs like 10 runs or 12 runs per over and the batter is going against you, my plan is to just stick with the length.

"When they try to attack you, if you have a proper plan against them and you are bowling in probably the better length and you have maximum chances of getting the batter out. So that is my thinking, not thinking I have to get him out, just the length."

Kuldeep hinted that he was fully aware of the team's combination in the Caribbean, having missed out in New York due to pace friendly conditions.

"Obviously, I wasn't playing. Actually, I was playing as a 12th man there. I was helping out the teammates and carrying the drinks. That is more like playing. I didn't bowl there but I would have loved to bowl there.

"But it was more like an Australian sort of wicket. But here I played, I made my T20 ODI debut here back in 2017. I knew the conditions very well, just the length and trying to vary my pace. So it is nice for spinners to come here and bowl.

"Now in Super 8s, we have a lot of pressure as well. We're going to play Australia in a couple of days' time. The wickets are good for spinners, as you have seen in the last few games as well. We got four overs, and that was my plan. Just sticking with the length and varying my pace," the ace spinner added.

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