BENGALURU: Kuldeep Yadav has been India’s white-ball specialist. The left-arm chinaman has cemented his place in the limited-over squad under Virat Kohli’s captaincy. But when it comes to the longest format, he has not been as effective. So far, in the three Tests he has played in, he has scalped nine wickets.
His first-class average is also not the best — 32.36. Kuldeep, who was part of the Test squad against England, got a match to his name and his performance (0/44 in nine overs) on a seaming track was not the kind of performance he would have hoped to produce. Sent to Bengaluru by India coach Ravi Shastri and BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad to play for India A against Australia A in the two-match four-day unofficial Test series, Kuldeep is trying to improve his skills with the red cherry.
His performances so far? According to Kuldeep, it’s all about getting into the rhythm for long periods with the red ball. In the first match, the Uttar Pradesh spinner claimed two wickets in the first innings and as many wickets in the second for 51 runs on a slow M Chinnaswamy wicket. “For me, it’s very challenging to bowl with a red ball. When you play with white-ball regularly and suddenly get selected for the Test team, it gets difficult.
“Especially the conditions and the ball (Dukes) is different in England. But after coming here and bowling more than 30 overs, I would say, I am getting my rhythm back. I’m enjoying bowling in the longest format now,” Kuldeep said. The transformation from white ball to red hasn’t been smooth for Kuldeep. But with the West Indies two-match Test series scheduled to be played in October, he wants to play as many matches he can to prepare himself for future tests.
“It’s always difficult to switch to a different condition. As a bowler, in limited overs, you can try different things in four or 10 overs you get. In the longest format, it’s completely different. You have to bowl to a specific line and length for a sustained period of time rather than trying out different variations,” Kuldeep said. “Last time I bowled more than 10 overs was against Sri Lanka at Kandy.
It’s been more than a year and I have to play as many matches as I can to get ready. That’s also what both Ravi sir and MSK sir want me to do.” email@example.com Brief scores: Australia A 243 & 292 (Khawaja 40, Head 87; Siraj 3/77) vs India A 274 & 63/2 in 20 ovs.