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“He would have been severely diminished as a cricketer” – Coach Kapil Dev Pandey on Kuldeep Yadav’s career at KKR

Before the 2022 IPL season, KKR chose to release Kuldeep Yadav and retain Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Andre Russell, and Varun Chakravarthy ahead of the spinner.

Kuldeep Yadav

What a season the 27-year-old leg spinner Kuldeep Yadav is having for the Delhi Capitals! Last season Kuldeep Yadav was a part of the two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders. He represented the Knights from 2014 to 2021 before being picked up by DC at the 2022 mega auction.

At the beginning of his spell at KKR, he started off very brightly forming a deadly partnership with WestIndian fellow spinner Sunil Narine. But in the 2019 season, Yadav had lost all his confidence and was experiencing a lean patch in his career. He eventually lost his place at the starting XI to youngster Varun Chakraborty.

But the 2021 campaign was the darkest for the present Delhi spinner. 2021 IPL was played in two parts due to the Covid outbreak, but Yadav did not bag a single appearance for the Knights in the season. Another shocking decision from the Knights was playing Harbhajan Singh and Shakib Al Hasan ahead of him when they played with three spinners at Chepauk.

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Former coach’s words about Kuldeep Yadav’s time at KKR:

Kuldeep Yadav

His childhood coach and mentor Kapil Dev Pandey said to TOI that his career could have been completely off-track if he would have continued with the Knights.

“KKR did a very good thing by releasing Kuldeep. It worked really well in Kuldeep’s favor. If Kuldeep was there for one more season, he would have been severely diminished as a cricketer. They (KKR) retained him for one year and then didn’t give him chances, that was quite shocking.”

“When he was picked by DC in the last player auction (for his base price of Rs 2 Cr), I told him not to see the price he was bought for. I just said – ‘you have got a wonderful team and set up and will get enough chances to showcase your talent’. He said – ‘I just want to perform in the IPL and want to make a comeback to the Indian team in all formats’. He was hungry for chances.”

Before the 2022 IPL season, KKR chose to release Kuldeep Yadav and retain Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Andre Russell, and Varun Chakravarthy ahead of the spinner.

Kuldeep had set his base price at INR 1cr ahead of the auction. The Delhi Capitals managed to acquire his services by doubling his set price. The 27-year-old has had a spectacular start with his new team in this edition of the IPL. He has already bagged 17 wickets and is currently chasing Chahal’s purple cap for the leading wicket taker of the tournament.

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