The road ahead for Kuldeep

Ever since the series started, the Australians have found it difficult to play the Indian chinaman bowler, and has tightened the noose, claiming a hat-trick in Kolkata on Thursday.

Kuldeep Yadav celebrates his hat-trick after taking the wicket of Australia's Pat Cummins on Thursday   -  K.R. Deepak

As Kuldeep Yadav took the field for the first ODI at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium last Sunday, former Australia spinner Brad Hogg was all excited. Watching the Indian youngster from the commentary box, Hogg — one of the few chinaman bowlers — observed his action closely and exclaimed: “I haven’t met him this time. I will see him in the series. This would be exciting…”

The Australian, who has seen Kuldeep closely during his stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders, was quite right.

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Ever since the series started, the Australians have found it difficult to play the Indian chinaman bowler, and has tightened the noose, claiming a hat-trick in Kolkata on Thursday.

Many in the cricketing circles, however, believe that chinaman bowling being a rare art, Kuldeep will have to be careful about over-exposure.

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His coach Kapil Pandey, however, doesn’t subscribe to those ideas. “There is no question of over-exposure. The more he will play, the better it will be for him. He will be able to get a hang of things,” Pandey told Sportstar.

The coach, who honed Kuldeep’s skills, believes that it is important to stick to the basics. “We had started planning for the Australia series much in advance. We had already analysed Glenn Maxwell’s batting flaws, and practised accordingly. That is helping him now,” Pandey said.

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While he is happy with the way his ward has delivered so far, Pandey admits that he will have to pick up the art of delivering in wet conditions. “If the ball is wet, it could get a big difficult for him. That is one area he will have to work on,” Pandey said, adding that the experience of playing in the IPL has helped his ward.

Sitting far away in the Western Provinces in South Africa, Paul Adams, who took the world by surprise with his unique bowling action, too is keeping a close watch on Kuldeep. “He is an exciting talent. They (chinaman bowlers) are rare breed today, so it is always good to see someone picking up the art and getting hat-tricks,”Adams told Sportstar. “It is really important (to sustain). It is important to understand the momentum of the game,” he added.

Adams also makes it clear that it is important for the likes of Kuldeep to get the support of coach and captain. “That’s really important, because (there will be low phases in their career), and when they return, the confidence should not be lost. It is all about confidence,” he said.

Having seen the highs and lows a bit too early in life, Adams has a piece of advice from Kuldeep: “The focus should be on the longer format. If you can perform there, it will change your career.”