NEW DELHI: Indian chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav is enjoying quality family time these days. From watching television series to spending time with his parents, India’s star spinner is making full use of his home stay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But with live sports slowly beginning to limp back to some form of normalcy, cricket fans are eagerly waiting for cricket to start again, even if it’s a new look sport with multiple restrictions.
Kuldeep believes it will take at least 15 to 20 days for a player to get into the groove when they are finally allowed to hit the field again.
“I really feel that it will take another 15 to 20 days to get into proper shape when we hit the field for training. We will need to check every aspect (of the game) when we hit the ground. Every part of the body should be in great shape. That’s why it will take at least 20 days to get into rhythm,” Kuldeep told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
“I also feel that franchises will start a 15- or 20-day camp ahead of the IPL. This will help players prepare perfectly for the IPL,” the Indian spinner said.
Kuldeep has been at home for almost three months and he is now desperate to get back to the cricket field. He has been watching his own old bowling videos and wicket-taking spells to motivate himself.
“When I look around, I say to myself – you are in a safe position. As an athlete, you miss going out, but that’s how the situation is, so I am spending time with my family and doing proper exercise to remain fit. Initially, it was like a good break but now we are getting bored. It’s a mixed feeling,” he said.
“I’m just working on my basics right now. It is very tough for an athlete to motivate himself or herself at home. They need to go out. I am watching my old bowling videos to motivate myself. I am at home, having good food, resting, sleeping on time and spending a lot of time with my family. That’s motivating for me. But I am bored now as I can’t go out, train and show my bowling skills,” Kuldeep, who has played 6 Tests, 60 ODIs and 21 T20Is for India so far, told TimesofIndia.com.
The 25-year-old Kuldeep would have wrapped up another season of the IPL, representing the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) if the IPL had commenced from March 29. However, the cash-rich league had to be postponed till further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is talk of the 2020 edition of the IPL possibly being staged in the October-November window, if the ICC T20 World Cup is indeed scrapped this year and postponed to a future date. Kuldeep feels if a domestic T20 tournament like the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is organised some time before the IPL, it will help players prepare to a great extent.
“I personally feel we can also play domestic T20s. We can organise the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy before the IPL and play that tournament. That’s a two-week tournament and it will help players get into the groove. Then we can go and play IPL. IPL is a big tournament and it will be a very good platform for all players after the pandemic,” Kuldeep said.
The 25-year-old Kuldeep, who made his ODI debut in 2017 against the West Indies in Port of Spain under the leadership of Virat Kohli, is the only Indian who has claimed a hat-trick twice in his ODI career. Chetan Sharma, Kapil Dev and Mohammed Shami have one hat-trick each to their names.
Overall, Sri Lankan veteran Lasith Malinga is on the top of the pile with three hat-tricks in ODI cricket. Apart from Kuldeep, Wasim Akram (Pakistan), Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan), Trent Boult (New Zealand) and Chamina Vaas (Sri Lanka) have two ODI hat-tricks under their belt.
“It feels great when I see my name on that list. All of them are great players on that list. It’s not easy to claim a hat-trick. You plan a hat-trick. It needs a lot of planning and execution. Such achievements give you extra motivation to play ODI cricket. It feels amazing to be part of such an elite group which already has legends like Wasim bhai, Saqlain bhai, Lasith Malinga, Trent Boult. These all are great players,” Kuldeep signed off.