Calcutta: Kuldeep Yadav showed a lot more maturity than any other 19-year-old would when he made his debut at this year’s Champions League T20 for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Very rightly was he selected for the ODIs versus West Indies after an impressive show in CLT20. Maybe it’s this maturity and confidence that keeps him ready for an international debut and makes him say, “I won’t be under pressure”.
In an interview to bcci.tv, Kuldeep said: “I think I have the talent to bowl well and people have taken notice of it. When I get an opportunity to play for India, I won’t be under pressure.
“Pressure mounts only when you are an established cricketer and that’s when people begin to expect a lot from you. As a youngster, I might get a bit nervous, but I know that feeling will fade off when I bowl my first over and spend some time on the field.”
Precisely, it won’t be very long before the spinner is seen rolling his arms in the Team India jersey. Who knows, had West Indies’ tour gone ahead as per schedule, he could well have been part of the XI for the one-off T20 International.
“It is truly an outstanding feeling to be a part of the Indian team. I still remember the first time I walked in the dressing room.
“The dressing room atmosphere and the cricketing sense amongst the under-19 boys and the seniors is a touch different. You realise that you don’t have a second chance if you make mistakes at the senior level. The moment you make a mistake when you get a chance here, there will be fewer chances of making a comeback.
“At the under-19 level, you can make a comeback because you still have the time to develop your talent there. I want to do well for India and make the most of the opportunities I get. Little things like bowling at the nets to established players make a big difference.
“When I bowl to Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the nets, he always asks me to bowl according to a plan, which in turn helps me to learn something new. Virat Kohli and the rest of the batsmen too have been equally supportive,” Kuldeep elaborated.
The left-armer emphasised that this was a very important phase in his life. “For me, this is a very important phase in my life. The more games I watch and the more conversations I have with the senior players in the side, more mature will I become.
“It is a huge thing to be a part of the Indian team and I am learning a lot by just being with this group. These are the things that one can only learn being inside the dressing room. As a youngster, this is the biggest learning curve in my cricketing career so far,” he said.
The Telegraph, Calcutta