Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav relishes the opportunity of getting Australia opener David Warner out time and again and feels the southpaw comes under pressure every time he bowls to him.
“If you are all over a batsman, you don’t feel the pressure. I think Warner is under pressure when he is playing me. He feels I can get him out any time,” Kuldeep told reporters ahead of India’s second One-Day International (ODI) at the Eden Gardens here against the Aussies on Thursday.
“I feel good when I bowl to Warner. I set up a plan when I bowl to him. Hopefully, I will get him out on more occasions in the next four ODIs,” the 22-year-old said.
Kuldeep got Warner out in the first rubber in Chennai with a slider that went straight through at the same line with Warner going for a cut and getting a big outside edge to wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who took a sharp catch.
This was not the first time Warner failed to read the left-arm trickery of Kuldeep who got his back on debut in the fourth Test in Dharamsala too.
That was not it. In the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Kanpur lad sent the Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper back in the hut here four months back.
Asked who is the toughest batsman to bowl to in the Australian side, Kuldeep said it is skipper Steve Smith.
“In Tests, I have seen him reading the balls well. He knows how to eke out singles. I feel it is tough to bowl to him. Generally, he prefers playing on the leg stump. Whenever he feels, he hits a four and likewise takes a single at will. So I feel it is tough to bowl to him,” he said.
Kuldeep said India always want to get Warner out early, and it is a good opportunity for spinners to take control of the game once he and Smith are out of the picture at the start of the innings.
“In any team if you get the top two batsmen out it’s helpful. We always want to get Warner out as early as we can as he can change the game from any stage. Smith is also a quality player and once he gets in, he can strike well and stretch the game,” he said.
Talking about two wrist spinners (Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal) bowling in tandem, a first for India ever in ODIs, he said: “Whenever I played, I played with a left-arm spinner. Or in Ranji Trophy, I played with Piyush (Chawla) bhai but not for a long time. Now good experience as we have two wrist spinners in the side.
“The chances of taking a wicket increases. If you have two attacking spinners wickets come more. left arm spinners don’t have much variations so the batsman won’t take much chances. But a wrist spinner can deceive him, I feel.”
Kuldeep said with frontline spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja not being included in the team in this series, although Jadeja replaced injured Axar Patel at the last moment, the responsibility for delivering the goods is more on them.
“We have a lot of responsibility. We are two young spinners and we can go through spells at times when we won’t be getting wickets. So it’s a good experience also for us because the more we will do well now, we will form a partnership for the future in Indian cricket. We still have lots to learn. We will mature series by series.”
Kuldeep added that having all-rounder Hardik Pandya in te side is a huge plus and the youngster will go a long way in the future.
“It is very important to have a bowling all-rounder in the side. He can change the game and the momentum of the game. It’s great to have someone like him in the side. He will play for a long time,” he said.
Kuldeep picked up two wickets in the last game while Chahal bagged three. India are leading 1-0 in the five-match series.