Rhythm Was Off Because I Hadn’t Been Playing Regularly: Kuldeep

Kuldeep had a particularly bad time bowling to Stokes in the second ODI when he conceded 3 consecutive sixes.

2 min read
Kuldeep Yadav was hit for three consecutive sixes by Ben Stokes  in Pune 

The recent years have not been very memorable for India spinner Kuldeep Yadav and a poor IPL 2020 with Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t help either.

Kuldeep, left on the bench for the most part of the Australia tour and the England series in India, got the nod in the ODIs against the world champions but failed to make a mark, going wicketless and conceding 152 runs across the two games.

Kuldeep had a particularly bad time bowling to Ben Stokes in the second ODI in Pune, conceding 20 runs in an over, including three consecutive sixes because he "didn't understand what length to bowl" and "didn't have any assistance on the pitch".

England chased down a target of 337 inside 44 overs to level the three-match series at 1-1 in that game.

"If you're playing regularly, you get an idea about the length and can quickly identify what length to bowl," Yadav told Mid Day.

"But when you're playing with breaks, the length may sometimes be a little up or short. If I work hard on my lengths, it will help me bowl better.

"The first game was very important as I was playing after a long time. I didn't get into a good rhythm in that match. Had I been playing regularly, rhythm would not have been an issue. I made a good comeback after the first over [conceding 13 runs]. In the second game, I bowled better. It's just that there was no assistance for spin on the pitch, so I didn't get the desired results. On flat pitches, length is crucial. It was difficult for spinners in the ODIs, all went for runs."

Kuldeep also dismissed talk that batsmen had him "figured out", insisting that his main job was "to keep improving" and not focus on anything else.

"I don't pay attention to all this talk. It's important that I keep improving my skills and be as accurate as possible. If you're playing regularly, batsmen tend to read you. If they are getting comfortable playing me, then my job as a bowler is to keep improving. And that's why I look to add or change a few things every time.

"Despite all the analysis, batsmen still find ways to score runs and bowlers still find different methods to take wickets. There are other factors, too, like form, rhythm and confidence. If [your] confidence is high, you'll start taking wickets and people will again start talking good things about you.

"My job is to be ready whenever the opportunity arises. The team management has always communicated to me the reason why I wasn't getting a place in the XI. They have always backed me and I am not at all worried. I keep working hard in training sessions and do whatever the team needs."

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