IPL 2022: How Kuldeep Yadav Scripted His Renaissance

| Updated: 18 May, 2022 5:39 pm IST


BENGALURU: One of the biggest talking points of the Indian Premier League 2022 is the remarkable reinvention of the left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav. In just 13 matches, playing for Delhi Capitals, Kuldeep has chalked up 20 wickets and is one of the leading wicket-takers in the tournament.

Last two years – 2020 and 2021 – were extremely tough for the Chinaman spinner. Playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, he managed only one wicket in five matches in 2020 and was ruled out of the tournament in 2021 due to a knee injury. His place in the Indian team was also uncertain during that phase. His career was beset with both poor form and injury. Many experts had even written him off.

Before the IPL 2022, Delhi picked him up in the auction for Rs 2 crore after Kolkata had released him. Throughout the tournament, Kuldeep has looked in terrific rhythm and is bowling with perceptible zing. There’s a spring in his steps and he’s looking like a predator on the prowl.

A couple of things are quite evident. He is bowling a lot quicker than he used to and is able to impart more revs on the ball. His average speed has shot to 87 kph in the IPL 2022 from 81.9 kph till 2021. The success has also brought back confidence in his abilities, which he seemed to have lost.

“One thing is certain, I have become a lot stronger mentally. When you fail in life, you think, ‘Where can I improve?’ You learn from your mistakes when you face failure in life. I have worked on it, and now I have no fear of failure,” he said after grabbing a four-wicket haul against Kolkata.

Maninder Singh, the former Indian left-arm spinner, feels Kuldeep is reaping the benefit of putting in enormous effort in his bowling. However, he feels Kuldeep still has a technical flaw.

Talking exclusively to The New Indian, Singh said, “Kuldeep is an extremely skilful spinner. He is pushing the ball quickly through the air to suffuse more life and revs. He is also putting in a lot of effort in his run-up and action which has resulted in success, but I think he has a technical flaw. His front arm is dropping too quickly. If he fixes that, he won’t have to put in so much effort and he will still achieve the same success.”

“Kuldeep always had this technical flaw even when he was bowling exceedingly well and taking heaps of wickets between 2017 and 2019. If he keeps pitching in so many efforts in his run-up and bowling, he might cop shoulder or back injuries in future. That is why it is paramount for him to fix this technical flaw. He will get the same results and his body won’t have to bear so much load if he sorts out this glitch,” the former spinner explained.

“For a left-arm spinner, his right arm plays a big role because the bowling arm follows the front arm. If the front arm is dropping, that means it is not in sync with the speed of the bowling arm. If there is no sync between the two arms and the one arm is not rolling with the same speed, it increases the risk of injuries,” he elaborated.

“When the speed of both the arms are in sync while bowling, it reduces the risk of injuries significantly. That’s why Kuldeep must work on his front arm which drops quickly. Right now, he’s upbeat and in a great frame of mind. That’s the best time to iron out the flaw. It will certainly prolong his career. He has the wherewithal to succeed in all three formats,” he concluded.

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