‘I wasn’t played in Chennai, am I that bad?’ – Kuldeep Yadav on the constant struggles he has faced while sitting out

‘I wasn’t played in Chennai, am I that bad?’ – Kuldeep Yadav on the constant struggles he has faced while sitting out

The 26-year-old Kuldeep didn't get to play a single match for KKR in IPL 2021.

Kuldeep Yadav of India bowls during a net session
Kuldeep Yadav of India bowls during a net session. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Kuldeep Yadav, the Indian bowler, has revealed how constantly sitting on the bench has taken a toll on him and his confidence. After foraying into international cricket back in 2017, the left-arm spinner has played all three formats for the national team. However, in the last 12 months or so, he hasn’t gotten many chances. In fact, back in February, Kuldeep made his comeback to Test cricket after two years.

Though he picked up two wickets against Joe Root’s England, he wasn’t considered for the matches in Ahmedabad where the pitches were conducive for spin-bowling. After going wicketless in two ODIs in Pune, he was left out again. Moreover, it’s nearly 16 months since Kuldeep played T20Is for the Men in Blue.

I was a bit shocked but couldn’t do anything: Kuldeep Yadav

“When you are playing non-stop, players do feel high on confidence. The more one sits out the more it gets tougher. I felt a huge pressure on me when I played the Test against England in Chennai this February. Due to Covid, there was nothing happening, so things got really tougher even more last year,” Kuldeep was quoted as saying in News18.

“I did, sometimes I felt, ‘what is going on?’. It was difficult times. Sometimes, the mind says, ‘ab shayad woh Kuldeep nahi rahe.’ There were days when you feel serving drinks and being on the bench is for the best and then but there are days you don’t want to be in that place,” he stated.

To add to his agony, Kuldeep didn’t get to play a single match for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League. The 26-year-old was left a tad baffled after he didn’t get a chance in Chennai where the tracks aided slow-bowling to a large extent.

“I was especially when I didn’t find a place in my IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders. I wondered, ‘am I that bad?’ It’s a team-management decision and it would be wrong to go and ask them. I wasn’t played in Chennai during the IPL despite knowing it’s a turner. I was a bit shocked but couldn’t do anything,” Kuldeep added.

The Knights mostly preferred Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Varun Chakravarthy in their spin-department. Kuldeep made his IPL debut in the 2016 edition where he picked six wickets from three games.

In 2017 and 2018, he picked up a combined tally of 29 wickets from 28 games. However, in 2019 and 2020, he could manage only five wickets from 14 games after which he has found it tough to hold on to his spot.