Kuldeep Yadav is a rare commodity in Indian cricket. He is a left-arm unorthodox bowler (chinaman). There have not been many chinaman’s in world cricket let alone India. Brad Hogg was the first of his kind chinaman bowler in the world. People might argue that Paul Adams was too but Hogg was the one who consistently bowled this way. He bamboozled the best of the batsmen with his sheer skill. India never had a chinaman bowler ever. Hence Kuldeep’s arrival marked the beginning of something really special. Here we are starting Kuldeep Yadav lifestyle, starting with his early days.
Yadav was born and brought up in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. His father was a brick kiln owner. Kuldeep’s father played a big role in shaping his future. It was his father who insisted that he takes up cricket. He took Kuldeep to Kapil Pandey, a renowned coach to train Kuldeep.
A young Kuldeep was inspired by left-arm fast bowling greats like Wasim Akram and Zaheer Khan. He too wanted to become one. But owing to his slight physique, his coach advised him to be an unorthodox left-spinner, a rare species in international cricket.
Coach Pandey was impressed with his natural variations and turn. He knew the boy was delivering them without even realizing it. Yadav soon took to watching Shane Warne’s videos to turn into a wrist spinner (left-arm). Yadav was mesmerized by what he saw. He couldn’t gush enough about Warne’s use of the crease, length, and grip. Yadav admitted to having learned a lot from the footage.
A young and restless Kuldeep Yadav wanted his career to move on at a rapid pace. But sport much like life doesn’t guarantee instant results. He learned this the hard way. Kuldeep wasn’t selected for Uttar Pradesh’s U-15 team. He felt like giving up on his life owing to this rejection. His family, friends, and coaches helped him overcome this tough phase.
The U-19 glory:
Before playing the U-19 World Cup in 2014, Yadav had joined Mumbai Indians in 2012. But he never got to play a single game for them. Yadav came into the national reckoning when he picked up a hattrick against Scotland in a U-19 World Cup game. Yadav was touted to be a special talent. Many experts believed he must be soon playing for the country. They wanted Yadav to play the ultimate Test format. Yadav to his credit soon earned an India call-up in October 2014. But he didn’t get a game back then.
Yadav joined Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014. Since then he has proven to be one of their main performers. His left-arm chinaman spin has proven too hot to handle for many premier batsmen. Gautam Gambhir, the then KKR captain used Yadav splendidly. Yadav was made to bowl the difficult overs under his reign. He often outfoxed champion batsmen like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and AB de Villiers.
He played just 3 games in 2016 but left a lasting impression picking 6 wickets at a strike rate of 12. It was during this phase where Yadav became an all-phase bowler. He attacked in the middle overs and his defensive overs at the death were difficult to counter. His best run in the IPL came in 2017 and 2018. This helped him break into the Indian limited-overs team.
The rise of Kuldeep Yadav:
Post the Champions Trophy final debacle in 2017, India’s limited-overs side went through a major overhaul. Out went India’s two-finger spinners and in came the wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Kuldeep went on to weave his magic against all oppositions across the world.
He became only the 2nd Indian bowler after Bhuvneshwar Kumar to pick a 5-wicket haul across all 3 formats. He picked his test fiver against Australia in Sydney. This led to Ravi Shastri claiming that he is India’s first-choice spinner overseas. Yadav was only the 3rd spinner after Imran Tahir and Ajantha Mendis to achieve this feat. Kuldeep and Chahal combined to dismantle South Africa in their den in ODIs. India ended up winning the ODI series for the first time in South Africa defeating the Proteas 5-1 in the 6-match series.
Yadav is the only Indian bowler to pick 2 ODI hat tricks. He was the fastest Indian to pick 100 ODI wickets in terms of innings (58). In England, Yadav proved to be unplayable in the limited-overs series. He picked up a 5-wicket haul in the first T20I. Yadav went on to repeat the feat in the ODIs as well. He picked up a 6-wicket haul in the first ODI against a rampaging England batting lineup. Yadav was touted to be India’s biggest weapon in the ODI World Cup. On February 11, 2019, he moved to a career-best 2nd rank in T20Is.
The unexpected fall:
Yadav’s career has gone down spirally starting the 2019 World Cup. It was a tournament where he was expected to be India’s trump card but ended up failing big time. England hit him out of the contest in a league game and that kept him out of favour for a very long time. Moeen Ali smashed 4 sixes in a Yadav over in IPL 2019 leaving him in tears. His confidence and belief have taken a major beating ever since.
In India’s historic Test series win over Australia, Yadav was the only bowler who didn’t feature in any of the Tests. He was benched in the entire first phase of IPL 2021. Things have not been easy for the chinaman lately. He will be wanting to create an impact soon.
Kuldeep Yadav lifestyle:
Kuldeep Yadav’s net worth is estimated to be around INR 25 crores. He is a BCCI contracted player. Yadav draws an annual sum of INR 1 crore for being listed in the C bracket. Yadav additionally receives an income from Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association for being their state player. He earns an annual contract of INR 5.8 crores from KKR in the IPL.
Kuldeep Yadav is one of the most promising players in Indian cricket. He needs a mentor who will guide him through the ups and downs of his career. If tapped into the potential, he is a volcanic performer!