Gambhir backed me when I was a nobody: Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav was in the Mumbai Indians squad before making his IPL debut with Kolkata Knight Riders.

Kuldeep Yadav & Gautam Gambhir IPL
Kuldeep Yadav & Gautam Gambhir. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav has been in the news recently for all he has achieved in his brief career so far. Kuldeep first impressed one and all in the series against Sri Lanka and has continued his rich form in the ongoing limited overs series against Australia. The visiting team’s skipper Steven Smith has many times gones on records and lauded Kuldeep’s skill-set, and they are aware of the difference he can make.

The spinner was first picked up by Mumbai Indians in the IPL, but all he did was watch his peers take the field. He later joined the Kolkata Knight Riders’ set up and that is when the script took a turn. He was backed by KKR’s skipper Gautam Gambhir, and the youngster responded brilliantly.


Kuldeep credits Gambhir for the turn-around

“I shall always be grateful to Gauti bhai (Gambhir) for backing me when I was a nobody. He backed me when no one knew me. It has been a great ride under him and with my KKR teammates. I always wanted to play for India across all formats, but to channelize that desire I needed the guidance of someone like him,” Kuldeep told CricNext during this year’s IPL.

Former KKR coach Vijay Dahiya had said that many a times Gambhir picked Kuldeep over recognized spinners. He added that Gambhir saw a special spark in the youngster and he wanted the spinner to play, as he calls Kuldeep a match-winner.

“I am nobody to speak on their behalf (Mumbai Indians). All I know is that the moment we saw him we knew he was a raw talent who needed to be nurtured and that is what we did over the years. Gambhir played an integral role in giving Kuldeep that confident. It is not often that you come across such talent, but it is just as important to spot them and have confidence in their ability.” Dahiya said.