“Everyone told me my deliveries required pace but no one told me how to do it,” Kuldeep, who dismissed David Warner and Glenn Maxwell in India’s World Cup opener against Australia, stated matter-of-factly.
Kuldeep’s adjustment in his bowling action was self-taught, but he did receive a valuable tip from former Team India physio Ashish Kaushik when he was beginning his rehabilitation after knee surgery.
“When I was returning from injury, physio Ashish Kaushik advised reducing the load on my right leg. After rehab, I incorporated that advice into my training and match situations, and I felt the difference. It wasn’t an overnight change; it took around six months to regain my rhythm,” he recalled his comeback journey.
Although the Chepauk pitch was challenging and offered turn, Kuldeep emphasized the importance of varying the pace, especially on such tracks.
“On a turning track, the speed at which the ball turns is crucial. Sometimes, tracks may be slow, so varying the pace becomes important,” he explained.
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When asked if the pitch on Sunday was a slow turner, Kuldeep noted, “I don’t think so, but yes, I had to increase the pace of my deliveries. For instance, Glenn Maxwell didn’t have time, and if you saw how Smith got bowled (to Jadeja), pace on deliveries becomes important along with turn,” the Kanpur-born spinner clarified.
Regarding whether using three spinners is a viable strategy in the tournament, Kuldeep wasn’t entirely sure but mentioned that playing with three spinners in Chennai has been effective over the years.
While acknowledging Maxwell’s bowling performance, Kuldeep observed that he lacked support from Adam Zampa at the other end.
“If the other team had three quality spinners, it would have been challenging for us as a batting unit. I think Maxwell bowled well, but he didn’t have support from the other end. In the ODI format, hitting the stumps is crucial for any spinner,” Kuldeep added.
(With PTI inputs)