India’s left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav has again started training in earnest, bowling four hours daily, and is striving hard to curb his natural instinct of applying saliva on the ball. With lockdown restrictions being eased out, and BCCI urging players to start their skill training at the local level, Kuldeep under tutelage of his childhood coach Kapil Pandey is sweating it out at the local Rovers ground, where he learnt all his cricket.
“I have started training at the Rovers ground in Lal Bangla area. In fact I am doing two sessions per day. In the morning from 7:30 to 9 am, I do my physical training. Then I go back home and comeback in the evening. From 4 pm to 8 pm, I am regularly bowling in the nets,” Kuldeep told PTI Bhasha during an interaction.
“It’s only been a week that I have started outdoor training. All this while, I was at home maintaining social distancing norms. Now I believe within next few weeks, I would be ready for competitive cricket as and when it starts,” said Yadav, who has played 6 Tests, 60 ODIs and 21 T20 Internationals for the country.
For the 25-year-old, the biggest concern is controling the habit of using saliva, something that he feels is conditioned to follow. “Look, since childhood, we have this habit of applying saliva on the ball to keep the shine. With new ICC rules in place, I am trying to get rid of the habit.
“I believe it needs to be imbibed in training sessions first. Hopefully, we will have some alternative in place,” said Kuldeep, who already has 167 international wickets, across formats, in his kitty. ICC has banned the use of saliva but players can use sweat to shine the ball.
Asked what is the format he would like to play once cricket resumes, Kuldeep said that T20 will be his choice. “Once competitive cricket resumes, I would prefer playing IPL. That is in case normalcy returns.” While he has started training, he feels that cricket is not priority right now when the country us struggling badly to flatten the curve of COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have seen the crisis of migrant labourers across India especially in Delhi and Mumbai. People are jobless and you can’t just think about your sport,” said the talented spinner. So how has he helped people who have faced financial distress? Kuldeep replied, “I have always believed in this philosophy that charity should be done quietly. Yes, I am associated with a few NGOs plus I have tried to help people in my native Kanpur.” “But if you ask me to divulge details, I won’t because in my opinion, that’s not the right thing to do,” Kuldeep added.