’Taking wickets should be a habit for bowlers’


One of India’s most successful bowlers on their trip to West Indies immediately after the Champions Trophy, Kuldeep lost his place to leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal here but with the series in the bag, India may try out the left-arm chinaman. And he addressing the media on Tuesday was a strong indicator of his inclusion. 

Which of the two spinners -- Axar Patel and Chahal -- the UP bowler replaces remains to be seen though. Kohli had said previously that he preferred Axar and Chahal as they provided variety but in the same breath he had added that one could see both wrist spinners playing together in the coming matches. And Kuldeep nicely fits into Virat Kohli’s philosophy of wicket-taking bowlers rather than those who rely on restriction. 

“My style isn’t about restricting runs,” Kuldeep stressed. “If I try to restrict runs I will probably end up conceding more runs. So, I look to take wickets so that the team benefits from it and the opposition also comes under pressure if you take wickets. My thought process is very simple. Taking wickets should be a habit for bowlers. Because if you are not taking wickets for the team then you are a “normal” (did he mean ordinary?) bowler. Taking even 2-3 wickets is beneficial for the team and my bowling style is only about taking wickets,” he offered.

Kuldeep got to play the last Test of this tour in Pallekele and took four first-innings wickets, and the bowler admitted he will have to make some quick adjustments from the longer format to the shorter one.

“Obviously there is a lot of change, red ball to white ball,” he noted. “It’s a bit difficult when you come from Test cricket to ODIs. The batsmen attack you more in limited-overs cricket. In Test cricket you have to work harder to get wickets but ODI cricket also challenging in its own way as you only have 10 overs to bowl and the batsmen are taking chances against you to score more runs.”

In the space of less than six months, the left-arm wrist spinner has made debut in all three formats, starting with his baptism into Tests in March this year. 

“As spinners play more games they keep on improving,” Kuldeep said of his evolution in the last six months. “I have learnt a lot from the bowling point of view, especially how you can handle pressure. As you face better batsmen, you will feel pressure and how you overcome that, these things you only learn when you play matches,” he reasoned.

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