Kuldeep Yadav © PTI
Kuldeep Yadav is currently the only Chinaman bowler in Asia © PTI

He represented India in ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014 in UAE. He was a sensation for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) during their campaign in Champions League T20 (CLT20) in 2014. For his impressive showing, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) cricketer also got a call up to the Indian One-Day International (ODI) squad. With all probabilities, he is currently the only Chinaman bowler in Asia. He is Kuldeep Yadav. This soft-spoken cricketer talks with Sandipan Banerjee and discussed about his rare art.

The Asian subcontinent is regarded as the land of spinners for rest of the cricketing world. One can find various kind of tweakers rolling their arms over in the slow, low pitches of this part of the world. But the art of bowling left-arm Chinaman is quite rare. Even outside Asia there are very examples, who have practised this trade. Brad Hogg, Paul Adams, Simon Katich— these are the few former cricketers who possessed this skill. READ: Kuldeep Yadav and other Chinaman bowlers

CricketCountry interviews the cricketer who will continue their legacy in coming years, who happens to be the 20-year old ‘spin sensation’ from Kanpur, Kuldeep Yadav.

1. CrickeCountry (CC): Why did you choose to pursue with a difficult and rare trade of bowling Chinaman?

Kuldeep Yadav (KY): Well, there is no history behind it. It came all of a sudden. I used be be a fast bowler. One day my coach Kapil Sir [Kapil Pandey] told me to bowl spin. At that time I was very angry as I loved to bowl fast. But I listened to him and the first slow ball I bowled was a left-arm leg-spin. It went in the wrong way. I didn’t even know the term ‘Chinaman’ that time. After watching me bowling, my coach wanted me to nurture this special skill.

2. CC: Kindly share your experience of leading India’s spin attack in ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2014 in UAE.

KY: I first represented the country during an Under-19 series against Australia. That was a proud moment for me. In Under-19 World Cup, leading the spin attack was a very responsible task for me. I tried to do it properly. As a team we played really well but were unfortunate to miss out on a place in the semis. READ: Kuldeep Yadav is one for future

3. CC: You made your debut in domestic cricket next season. How was that experience?

KY: Yes I made my debut in the following season in a Duleep Trophy game against North Zone at Mohali. It was a great experience for me to play alongside the seniors like Piyush Chawla, Pankaj Singh, Karn Sharma and others. The opposition team had players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh. It was good debut. I took three wickets including the wicket of ‘Yuvi paa’ [Yuvraj]. Also I contributed with bat as well. It was a satisfying game for me.

4. CC: Take us through your journey with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

KY:  KKR is like a family. I joined the team in 2014. The captain, my teammates, the support staffs all are very co-operative, very supportive towards me. I learnt a lot from watch players like Gautam Gambhir, Jacques Kallis, especially how they carry themselves outside the field.  I feel very lucky to join a team like KKR.  I had fantastic time with the team.

5. CC: This season Brad Hogg was there in KKR squad. What are the tricks you have learnt from him?

KY:  It was fantastic to have Brad Hogg in my team. He helped me a lot to learn something new. He worked on my flipper. He taught me that having a good wrong one is very essential.

6. CC: Getting selected for the Indian team was a big moment for your career. What was your experience of sharing dressing room with the likes of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina like?

KY: It was a dream came true for me. The most cherished moment of my career so far without a doubt. Sharing dressing room with the like of MS Dhoni, Virat Kolhi, Suresh Raina was a great experience for me. I knew Raina before. He is a good friend of mine. Dhoni and Virat bhai also helped me a lot. I am very thankful towards them.  They gave me guidance and inspired me to do well. Both are so humble. Even during IPL they talked with me and gave encouragements.

I knew Raina before. He is a good friend of mine. MS Dhoni and Virat vai also helped me a lot. I am very thankful towards them. Both are so humble.

7. CC:  Disappointed, not to make your debut ?

KY: Yes, but I was happy the share dressing room with the senior players. It was a great learning experience for me. Hopefully next time I will make my debut.

8. CC: Whom do you look for any help regarding your bowling?

KY: My coach. Kapil sir knows my game. Whenever I face any problem I go to him.

9. CC: How much importance you give to your batting?

KY: A lot. I want to be a genuine all-rounder. Even in my first class debut I scored a half-century. These days you have to have the batting skills, if you want to improve as a cricketer.

I want to be a genuine all-rounder.

10. CC: India will be playing a lot of limited over cricket in the next season, also the T20 World Cup is coming. So how you do you look to get back into the Indian team?

KY: I want to get back into the India team by playing domestic cricket and India A games. We have a India A tour scheduled shortly. I am preparing myself for this. I really want to do well on these tours.

 (Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting, and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)