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How an Aussie inspired Kuldeep Yadav to hat-trick the Australians

New Delhi: The mystery spinner Kuldeep Yadav became the third Indian to take an ODI hat-trick after he removed Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins off three consecutive deliveries during the second ODI between India and Australia at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.

While the pundits have been talking about how Kuldeep could fit in Team India’s scheme of things for the 2019 World Cup, it has not been an easy ride for him, reveals the 22-year-old.

Kuldeep told The Indian Express that according to him his Team India journey started much later than he had expected but now he is happy to be where he is right now.

“Honestly, I expected to play for India earlier than I did. I always knew that the kind of performances I was giving, I was always confident about my prospects. I got a call in 2014 for the West Indies series, then I felt as if I have achieved everything. But unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to play in the first three ODIs, and then the series was abandoned.”

“Then I had to make a comeback from there. Had to do the hard yards in domestic cricket. It’s only now, three years later, that I have got back into the team. I feel I have lost out on a couple of years. Expectations thi ke main jaldi khel jaaun. But, as they say, time se pehle, aur kismat se zyada kuchh nahi milta.”

Talking about the changes he has undergone from his U-19 days to being a part of the India senior team, Kuldeep said that he feels that he has grown up a lot mentally. 

“I have matured a lot now. I was a very confident bowler at the Under-19 level as well, but I have grown up mentally as well now. At the Under-19 level, the difference is that even if you want, you can’t be playing against guys older than 19. So it’s easy. But at this level, you are up against guys who are much older and far more experienced — 10-12 years older than you. So how you handle such players is the key. I think that challenge has made me a better player.”

It is a known fact that Kuldeep considers legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne as his idol. The UP cricketer revealed that he always wanted to bowl like Warne. 

“When I started, Shane Warne was the biggest name in spin bowling. My coach used to show me his videos and tell me that bowl like him. Copy him. He wanted me to release the ball as Warne would, drift and turn the ball as he would. Mera maksad abhi bhi ye hi hai ke 20, 30 per cent bhi Warne ki tarah ban gaya to samjho meri life safal ho gayi.”

“I also play poker, like Warne though I am not as good. Started doing it in the IPL. Achhca khel hai, patte jitney der se khulte hain, utna maza hai. The thing is, you need to be street-smart. Agar aap seedhe-saade bane rahenge to batsman aapko dakaar jaayega. You need to be one step ahead of the batsmen, even when you are getting hit.”

Talking about his ‘mystery spinner’ tag, Kuldeep said, “I don’t believe in mystery. Quality bowling is not mystery. Mystery to ye hoti ke ajeeb-o-gareeb action se ball phenk di. Mera action ekdum smooth hai, ball bohot achchhi nikalti hai. I don’t like this tag. If you are bowling quality balls, that’s the biggest mystery. Even Sunil Narine — you can’t say that he is mystery, he mixes up well, it’s his kalakaari. Shane Warne was not mystery, it was his skill, his quality. I prefer the word quality over mystery.”

Source: Zee News