Kuldeep Yadav is hungry for wickets

The 22-year-old, India’s first notable chinaman bowler, says limited-overs cricket offers more challenges.

The competition in the team with spinners like Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel isn’t a worry for Kuldeep Yadav.   -  K. PICHUMANI

Kuldeep Yadav, India’s first notable chinaman bowler, has been in the spotlight ever since he rattled the Aussies with a four-for in his debut Test at Dharamsala this year. The 22-year-old, who picked up eight wickets in his five ODI outings, is hungry for more wickets.

“The plan changes when you shift from Test cricket to ODIs. In limited-overs, the batsman is more attacking, but you have only 10 overs to prove your worth. In Tests, you have to work hard to get a wicket. But my style is to go for wickets and not restrict runs. I may end up leaking runs if I try to be defensive in approach,” he said, ahead of the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka here on Wednesday.

“Getting a wicket is better for the team too. It helps reduce the pressure and it becomes easier to bowl the opponents out,” he added.

The competition in the team — with spinners like Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel — isn’t much of a bother for the Uttar Pradesh lad. “A spinner improves as he plays and I have learnt a lot in the last six months. The more you play, you will bowl to better batsmen. Actually, it is good that the team has options,” reasoned Kuldeep, who doesn’t find any difference between the coaching methods of Ravi Shastri (the current head coach) and Anil Kumble. “He helps the same way Anil sir did.”

However, since Kohli made it clear that he wants the best fielding side on park for the ICC World Cup in 2019, Kuldeep is paying attention to his fitness too. “When I used to play India U-19, I wasn’t as fit. I train regularly.”

He is also thrilled to be a part of M.S. Dhoni’s 300th ODI match. “He is one person you can always go up to and talk to. He observes every bowler from behind the wickets and I feel lucky to be a part of his 300th game.”