KKR’s leggie Kuldeep Yadav lauds Gambhir for mentoring him during his early days in KKR. Yadav was signed up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014.
In January 2018, he was bought back by KKR in the 2018 IPL auction for INR 5.8 crores. In the 2019 edition, he played only 9 matches, taking 4 wickets and scoring a total of 12 runs.
“I was a senior player during the 2014 U19 World Cup and performances happened exactly according to expectations. From there I was selected for KKR and life changed drastically. I got plenty of time in KKR. There were a lot of senior players, especially Gautam Gambhir,” Kuldeep Yadav said in a video posted by KKR.
Kuldeep Yadav lauds Gambhir
Kuldeep further reveals how Gambhir’s advice helped him in his career and made him a confident player.
“I always keep thanking him. He guided me as a leader and taught me everything. Even before I was about to play in the Champions League, he advised me what to bowl, how to hone my skills and become a confident player.”
Kuldeep said that the first season at KKR would always be important for him as the franchise took good care of him.
“In my first season with KKR, I was a youngster and our team was packed with the likes of Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla and we had a few more good spinners in our squad,” Kuldeep added.
“I always felt that it was a good time for me to learn and get better. I was coming out of my U-19 days. As KKR have always backed youngsters, they took good care of me. So that first season would always be important for me.”
Kuldeep has been retained by KKR ahead of the IPL 2021 mini-auction which is scheduled to take place on February 18.
Kuldeep set to return for England Test series
The Uttar Pradesh-born spinner had a brilliant start to his IPL career picking up 29 wickets in the 2017 and 2018 seasons making him a constant fixture in the Indian team and earning a spot in the 2019 World Cup squad.
However, things have gone downhill in the last year and a half. Kuldeep could manage to take mere 5 wickets in the last two IPL seasons combined. He has also lost his spot in India’s playing eleven in all three formats.
He could be seen in action soon in the upcoming India vs England Test series. Since Ravindra Jadeja is ruled out due to an injury, Kuldeep Yadav is likely to feature in the Test line-up for the first time since picking a five-wicket haul in Sydney two years ago.