On Thursday, Kuldeep Yadav dominated his former franchise Kolkata Knight Riders for the second time this season, taking 4/14 in three overs to restrict them to 146.
This was summed up beautifully in a tweet.
This is true.
Kuldeep was a pale shadow of his self during his last 2 seasons with KKR.
But now, he is bowling beautifully. The delicious trajectory is back, the confidence is back and the results are there for everyone to see.
His friend and ‘rival’ Yuzvendra Chahal has also been quick to compliment him.
Despite this, Kuldeep says “There has never been competition with him (Chahal). He’s like my big brother and has always backed me. He kept motivating me when I was injured and I hope he wins the Purple Cap.”
Anyway, Kuldeep’s outstanding effort earned him the Player of the Match award as Delhi Capitals won the match by four wickets.
His return to form, without a doubt, has been one of the storylines of the IPL season so far.
During the post-match presentation ceremony, the spinner said, “I might have become a better bowler, but I am mentally stronger than before.”
“When you fail in life you pick what you can improve on and that is something I had to improve. I don’t get scared of failing now.”
In his three over spell, Kuldeep claimed the wickets of Baba Indrajith and Narine (0) to reduce KKR to 35 for four.
He then followed it up by dismissing skipper Shreyas Iyer (42), who had been rebuilding the innings, in the 13th over and Andre Russell, who was dismissed for a duck in the same over.
“I liked Russell’s wicket as I set him up, it was my plan and when there were a couple of dots I knew he would step out,” he said.
With his consistent performances, Kuldeep has bagged 17 wickets in eight matches, only one behind current Purple Cap holder Yuzvendra Chahal, who has 18 wickets.
After being dropped from India’s limited-overs squad and a series of under-par performances, he staged a comeback this season after being bought by Delhi for Rs 12 Cr.
“This is the best IPL season for me. I am enjoying my bowling. I don’t think what the batter will do and what if I get hit. My focus has been to bowl the right line and lengths,” he said.
We hope his renaissance continues as Kuldeep is a unique talent who can serve Indian cricket for long.
Let’s end with one more tweet appreciating his magic.