Chahal and I haven’t pipped anyone: Kuldeep on shutting the door on Ashwin, Jadeja
Chahal and I have just made the most of our opportunities: Kuldeep Yadav. (AFP Image)

Kuldeep Yadav feels his and Yuzvendra Chahal‘s performances may have enhanced their reputation as India’s go-to spinners but that doesn’t mean they have pushed senior pros R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja out of reckoning. (READ: India’s World Cup jigsaw almost complete, barring two pieces)

The wrist spinning duo of Chahal and Kuldeep have been regular feature in India’s ODI format confining finger spinner Ashwin to the sidelines and relegating Jadeja to the third specialist spinner’s role. (READ: India seek improvement to extend lead over Australia)

“No, no, not at all. We haven’t ousted anyone. It’s just that we have got the opportunities and we did well. They (Ashwin and Jadeja) have always been doing well for India. In Test matches, Ash (Ravichandran Ashwin) and Jaddu Bhai (Ravindra Jadeja) are still playing,” Kuldeep said on the eve of the second ODI. (READ: Chahal, Kuldeep ‘strongest spin duo in world’, says Kohli)

Kuldeep explained how they have gained from Ashwin and Jadeja’s experience. While Chahal only plays red-ball cricket, Kuldeep pointed out that he’s learnt plenty from Ashwin playing alongside him in Tests.

“And we learn a lot from them. They have a lot of experience. When I am in the Test squad, I learn a lot from them. Whenever we got an opportunity, for me and Chahal, we have performed for the team and that helped the team to win, so happy about it,” Kuldeep said.

In the first game, Kuldeep bowled well and got two wickets while Jadeja, despite going wicketless, was very economical. “To be honest, me, (Yuzvendra Chahal) and Jaddu bhai (Ravindra Jadeja) are playing really well so nothing much to worry about and we are focusing game by game,” he said.

Quizzed if he has ever felt pressure while bowling to any batsmen, he said: “No one to be very honest. There are few players, who have played me well and I am not afraid of getting hit.”

Kuldeep has foxed the best batsmen in the world but the chinaman asserts that Australia batsman Shaun Marsh has tackled him well.

“Shaun Marsh is a very good player of spin bowling. In Australia, Shaun Marsh was playing really well (against me) and they (team management) wanted to give me a break for a couple of games,” he said. “After that I studied Marsh’s batting and saw him playing a lot of deliveries on the front-foot and it paid off. But it will be important how I bowl to him in the next game if he plays.”

Having already played 12 ODIs against Australia, there is a sense of familiarity about the opposition batting line-up. “Of course, it been two years (now) I am playing international cricket and I have almost played 10-12 matches against Australia in One Day format. Now a days, video analysis is there, it is very to pick any bowler,” Kuldeep said.

To add another dimension to his game, Kuldeep has started devoting extra time on his batting under watchful eyes of assistant coach Sanjay Bangar.

“Of course, batting is important be it in One Days or Test cricket. I am focussing more on batting, every session I am batting for 20 odd minutes. Batting becomes important in some of the close matches and I am working with Sanjay Sir (Assistant coach Sanjay Bangar),” added Kuldeep.