Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif expressed his disappointment at the current management of spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Kaif feels that the chinaman is a “special talent” and expects legendary Rahul Dravid to look after him in the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. Dravid is set to take the charge of the national side as the coach against the island nation.
Kuldeep Yadav, alongside Yuzvendra Chahal, has won many games for team India in the recent past. However, he looked a bit off-colour since the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and remained in-and-out from the playing XI. He had a forgettable time during India’s home series against England earlier this year as well.
Kaif, who was Uttar Pradesh’s captain when Kuldeep made his Ranji Trophy debut, stated that players like him don’t come every day.
“You are not going to see players like him every day, he has a unique talent. If you want such players to perform for you, then you need the senior players and captain to back them. So it’s your (team management) responsibility to manage these kinds of players well, and the player must also be mindful of their body language when backed by the think tank,” he said in a virtual interaction with journalists on behalf of Sony Sports Network.
“Sometimes I get disappointed when I see Kuldeep not getting managed properly. Because as a Chinaman…he has a special quality, not everyone can bowl Chinaman. It’s a gift, I think Rahul Dravid will look after him in Sri Lanka,” he added.
“Ab shayad woh Kuldeep nahi rahe”
The Kanpur-born has also failed to find a spot in the playing XI of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL. During this year’s edition of the cash-rich league, Yadav gave an interview where his words lacked self-confidence and optimism.
“Sometimes I felt, ‘what is going on?’. It was a difficult time. Sometimes, the mind says, ‘ab shayad woh Kuldeep nahi rahe.’ There were days when you feel serving drinks and being on the bench is for the best – yaar yeh to best seat hai apne liye – and then but there are days you don’t want to be in that place,” Kuldeep told Indian Express after another lacklustre IPL.
The 26-year-old is expected to get some game time during India vs Sri Lanka 2021 series under the captaincy of Shikhar Dhawan. This could turn out to be an acid test for Kuldeep Yadav ahead of the T20 World Cup in the UAE.