Once a sure-shot starter in India’s limited-overs setup, spinner Kuldeep Yadav is now eagerly waiting for the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) to showcase his skills. Kuldeep, who is currently undergoing a slump in form, is now gearing up to regain his spot in India’s T20 World Cup team with a noteworthy performance in the IPL.

The 25-year-old received a thrashing in his last international outing for India when he was plundered for 84 runs in his quota of 10 overs in the 1st ODI. Interestingly, it was the only ODI on NZ tour among the three matches in which Kuldeep featured. “I don’t feel anything went wrong. It depends on the combination. In New Zealand the wickets were quite different, you might have seen that there were no spin tracks in Tests. Moreover, it was not a long Test series as well,” Kuldeep was quoted by PTI on Thursday.

“(Coach) Ravi bhai (Shastri) backs me a lot. He is open to everything. Whatever cricket I played till date, he backed me a lot. It was a team decision keeping in mind the conditions.”

Kuldeep last played a Test in January 2018 against Australia in Sydney, while his last T20 match was against Sri Lanka in January this year.

He is now eyeing the IPL, starting March 29, to make a strong statement and return to the India fold. “IPL is such a platform which changes every year. You need to be active every time and adapt to the changes. I am right now fully prepared for IPL.

“I got plenty of time to plan also. IPL is very important (for making a comeback in Indian team),” he said on the sidelines of the fourth Times of India Sports Awards (TOISA) in Delhi.

The T20 World Cup will be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15.

“Every player wants to play more because the more you play, the more you improve. IPL is such a platform where you get to play regularly over the course of one and a half months and it will, in turn, result in performance.”

Kuldeep hoped he will make the Australia-bound team alongside spin colleague Yuzvendra Chahal. “(Ravindra) Jadeja is putting in very good performances, in batting, fielding and bowling. So, the combination has become more strong with his arrival,” he said.

“We have a very strong team and we will definitely give our best effort. It depends on the management whether we play together or not. Combination matters a lot.

“We love bowling in tandem and there is no doubt about it. It will definitely be great for us if we get to play together in the T20 World Cup.”

Kuldeep said he definitely misses Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps even though Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul are doing good.

“Mahi bhai (Dhoni) is such an experienced player, he has given the Indian team a lot. Whenever an experienced player is not playing then you tend to lack somewhere and miss him,” the 25-year-old said.

“Having said that, they (Pant and Rahul) are still youngsters now but have been doing very well. Both are keeping well, so it is not making much difference, but you miss Mahi bhai’s presence,” Kuldeep signed off.