Kuldeep Yadav: 'I want to be more mentally prepared this year'

The India chinaman bowler hopes to improve his performances after his struggles of 2019.

Kuldeep Yadav took two wickets in India's victory in the second T20I. - VIVEK BENDRE

At the start of 2019, Kuldeep Yadav was on cloud nine. Having picked a fifer in the Sydney Test, the chinaman was billed as India’s premier spinner by head coach Ravi Shastri. By the end of the year, however, Kuldeep was struggling to keep his place in the team in all three formats of the game.

Not just the national team, Kuldeep was even dropped by the Kolkata Knight Riders during Indian Premier League. However, the bowler seemed to have got his mojo back in his first outing in the new decade, with a strong show against Sri Lanka in Indore on Tuesday.

Tough year

A day before the series-decider, Kuldeep explained that he could figure out the reasons for his struggles of 2019. “It was a tough one. I learned a lot of things and the biggest positive was getting to know that I could have planned things better. If I thought more and gave more time to myself, I could have performed better,” Kuldeep said.

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“In 2020, I will try to plan every game better and give myself more time, so I get more time to reflect on my game. You play a lot of matches but at the same time, you have to give yourself more time to plan for the next game. I want to be more mentally prepared this year.”

Help from analysts

In his quest for preparing better for the crucial year ahead, which will culminate with the T20 World Cup and the following Test series in Australia, Kuldeep said he has been scratching the head of the team’s performance analyst and coaching staff.

“I will definitely take the help of video analysts and speak to the bowling coach in the nets, where we can figure out the strengths and weakness of various batsmen and also to know how [the batsman] bats on the ground,” he said.

“Now everyone knows how Kuldeep bowls – he is a chinaman, who has wrong-uns, flippers. So I have to bring changes in my bowling, which the batsman cannot figure out.”

Kuldeep in 2019

Format MatchesWicketsAverageBestStrike-rateEconomy-rate
Test1519.805/9938.23.10
ODI233234.684/3939.05.33
T20I2417.752/2612.08.87

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