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IPL 2022: Freedom to express myself in DC has helped me, says Kuldeep Yadav

Mumbai, April 24, 2022- One of the most heart-warming stories from Delhi Capitals’ campaign in IPL 2022 has been the resurgence of left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

In this edition of the tournament, Kuldeep has picked 13 wickets in seven matches at an average of 17.38 and economy rate of 8.47.

After taking just five wickets between IPL seasons of 2019 and 2021 with Kolkata Knight Riders, Kuldeep has picked 13 wickets in six matches of IPL 2022 with Delhi Capitals at an average of 14.30 and economy rate of 7.85. He has also picked ‘Player of the Match’ awards in all three wins of Delhi in the ongoing season.

Kuldeep’s stunning run is a far cry from taking just five wickets between IPL seasons of 2019 and 2021 with Kolkata Knight Riders. A change in franchise is working wonders for Kuldeep, especially with a new coach in Ricky Ponting and captain in Rishabh Pant.

“When you are given the freedom to express yourself then you start to enjoy everything. When I spoke to Ricky (Ponting) during my first practice session with the team, he told me that I am bowling very well and that he’s looking to play me for all 14 league matches. That conversation with him motivated me a lot,” said Kuldeep in the fourth episode of The DC Podcast.

About Pant, Kuldeep feels that the youngster is showing characteristics of former India captain MS Dhoni apart from similarities in skillsets. “I feel Rishabh is showing a few glimpses of MS Dhoni’s characteristics behind the stumps. He guides well and stays calm on the field. Wicketkeepers play a big role in the success of spinners. The credit for my performance in this IPL goes to Rishabh as well. We have a good understanding now.”

Apart from Ponting and Pant, Kuldeep also spoke about how Assistant Coach Shane Watson is helping him mentally. “Shane Watson has also helped me a lot. I am very lucky to have worked with Watson for three-four sessions. He has particularly helped me with the mental aspect of the game. I have shared a lot of things with him about what I have been through before joining this team. I speak openly with him.”

Kuldeep further expressed his love for football, revealing that he likes understanding how players and managers approach the game. “I don’t like talking about cricket. I just play the game. I only talk about cricket when it’s a serious conversation about what I should do as a player. I follow football very closely. I understand the game tactically and a football manager’s approach to matches. Although I don’t play football very well, I have a lot of knowledge about football.”

Currently at sixth place in the points table with six points from seven matches, Delhi will take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium on April 28.  (Agency)

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