Kuldeep Yadav is hopeful to get a chance in India’s Sri Lanka tour in July

Kuldeep Yadav explains why he started to have self doubts during these last six months.

The last six months or so have not been fruitful to the Indian chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav. Having got to play a solitary Test and just two ODIs, Kuldeep’s confidence has been at a drop. From being the crucial player for the Indian outfit in all three formats to having been downgraded from the BCCI’s annual contract list, things have not been easy for the 26-years old.

In a recent conversation with the Indian Express, spinner Kuldeep Yadav explained all the things that have happened to him. He brought to light how MS Dhoni used to guide him and Chahal when he was behind the stumps, how it feels like to sit out for almost a year, did he had self-doubts in the past.

When asked about how these 12 months passed away, he replied it didn’t go well. I was out of the playing11, low on confidence and when you sit out things get even harsher. I was not getting games more often, just one test and two ODIs in the last 6 months. When you consistently warm the bench the pressure starts to build.

Did you start doubting yourself at any point?

Yes, I did. The difficult times don’t last long but leave you in pain. Sometimes I felt like perhaps, I am not the same Kuldeep anymore, however the other times I used to feel that nothing has changed, just wait for the opportunity.

The worst thing I did was to have self-doubts. I started to focus on the outside world and what others are saying instead of backing myself. I was very nervous. I had a chat with my coach Kapil Pandey and India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun. All they suggested is to trust and do the process and every other thing will be in place.

Sometimes sitting on a bench you feel like everything is good. This is the place I am good at but suddenly you see players playing on the ground. It feels like I should have been there and playing. 

Were you depressed when you struggled to find a place?

I was. The worst nightmare came when I struggled to find a place in my IPL team KKR. I wondered “Am I that bad?”. It’s obvious to have self-doubts when others are getting to play and you just have to sit out. I wasn’t picked up in Chennai knowing the fact that it’s a rank-turner and I could do good on that. It is all management’s decision and you cannot do much about that.

Have you ever felt MS Dhoni is important to you?

Yes, sometimes I miss his guidance. When he was there, he used to guide us from behind the stumps. He was accurate and guided us to do what’s best. Playing for India for such a long time, he has a good experience. I surely miss him. Now Rishabh Pant is there, he guides the bowlers and he will become good at that. We surely miss him.

Ever since MS Dhoni retired, I and Chahal haven’t played a single game together. I just had a couple of games. When you go through my records, it looks pretty decent but when you compare phase by phase, you will notice a huge difference.

What are you going to do now?

As I am not named in the Test squad, I have to practice as much as I can. I have to work on my bowling as well as on batting. I want to get back in shape and find the rhythm. Follow the process and come back even stronger than earlier.

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