Winning WC is my only dream: Kuldeep

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 05, 2024 IST

Kuldeep Yadav

New Delhi, June 5: After winning 10 games consecutively, he and his teammates missed the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 narrowly.

That would always remain a nightmare for Indian wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and his teammates. The merciless hammering by Travis Head in the final in Ahmedabad was a serious heartbreak for Kuldeep too.

As India begin their ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 campaign on Wednesday, Kuldeep has expressed his strong desire to secure the trophy for India in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

He said, "If you're playing for India for a long time, you've got to win a World Cup." Kuldeep Yadav has played a significant role in India’s last two ODI World Cups in 2019 and 2024 but has yet to participate in the T20 showpiece. He will mark his debut in the mega event when India take on Ireland on Wednesday at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York. 

"It's my dream to win the World Cup for India. This is my first T20 World Cup. I'm 29 years old and expect to play for as long as possible. Winning the World Cup is a long-term goal, and there's a bigger process behind it. If you're playing for India for a long time, you've got to win a World Cup. I think trophies do matter in the end, and you're playing to win the trophies. So winning the World Cup is my only dream," said Kuldeep in a Delhi Capitals' podcast.

The Chinaman bowler further shared his dreams beyond cricket and said, "Beyond cricket, I'm hopeful of getting a license in football coaching. I'm not perfect, but I need to work on it a lot. Hopefully, when I leave cricket, I can invest time in it and take proper training. I've got friends who are associated with the game, and after cricket, if I want to do something, I would certainly like to contribute to football," he added.

The leg-spinner delivered sensational performances leading to his inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad. However, a couple of years ago, he faced a rough patch. Before joining Delhi Capitals in 2022, he struggled with no Indian Premier League (IPL) opportunities, and his international career suffered as well.

He also revealed how DC head coach Ricky Ponting, skipper Rishabh Pant, and (then) assistant coach Shane Watson helped him in his revival to bring out the Kuldeep 2.0 version.

"I never thought I'd change drastically over the last couple of years. When I joined DC in 2022, I did come in with changed skills, but I needed that confidence. I still remember when I met Ricky on the first day, he hugged me properly and said, 'We wanted to have you on our team. I know your skills. Don't worry about anything, and I will ensure you play all the games'.

"So, Ponting helped me gain confidence, he used to give me ideas in training sessions. Rishabh as well, he is my brother, has always trusted me, and gave me full support," said the 29-year-old spinner.

He also recalled spending hours chatting with Watson in the dressing room during the 2022 and 2023 IPL, adding that he still has notes from those conversations saved on his phone. "However, I worked a lot with Watson. I bonded strongly with him; I used to share everything, even when I wasn't playing well. I used to talk for hours with him in his room during the IPL (2022/2023). He used to ask me about everything I was uncomfortable with, and I used to open up freely to him. He has played a big role in this.

"I still have notes from those conversations on my phone, and I rewind those before I play matches. I share an excellent bond with him. He has played a huge role in my revival," said Kuldeep.

Further reflecting on his bond with veteran spin duo Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep said Ashiwn has helped him try new things in his bowling.

"My friendship with Jaddu bhai is straightforward; we talk less about cricket. However, with Ash bhai, we talk a lot about the game. He brings in a lot of new ideas about bowling. Earlier, I didn’t try new things, but Ash bhai pushes me to try new things," he said.

Will Kuldeep be able to win the World Cup for India? Will Team India end their ICC World Cup trophy drought? Can Indian stars Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli be able to be part of yet another World Cup title win that will be of paramount interest to crores of Indian cricket fans. (With IANS support) 

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