Updated: April 25, 2020 11:53:33 pm
India spinner Kuldeep Yadav says former opener Gautam Gambhir and legendary pacer Wasim Akram had a “big influence” on his career in his early years at Kolkata Knight Riders.
Kuldeep stated that Gambhir, who led KKR to 2 IPL titles in 2012 and 2014, gave him confidence by assuring him of a spot within the crew.
“Gauti bhai had a huge influence on me from the start of my stint at KKR. He always spoke to me a lot. Not only during the time he was at KKR, but even after that, over these last two years,” Kuldeep was quoted as saying by the franchise’s web site.
“He always kept me motivated. When you get that kind of confidence from your captain, it becomes a huge plus point for any player. It helps you remain confident, and that translates into good performances.”
The chinaman bowler stated former Pakistan captain Akram helped him extra with the psychological facet of the sport.
“Wasim sir used to like me a lot too. He didn’t speak much about bowling, but he prepared me a lot in terms of mentally taking on the game. He prepared me to take on different situations in different ways, and taught me how to react when batsmen put you under pressure,” stated Kuldeep.
“When he was at KKR, I used to sit with him and pick his brain a lot. I used to sit next to him in the dugout during matches and ask questions about real-time situations.”
Kuldeep stated he used to ask Akram what he would have finished in sure conditions.
“He would take a look at me by asking me what my method would have been.
“So apart from Gauti bhai, he was someone who had a big influence on me during those early years. He also has a very good sense of humour, so it was great having him around,” stated Kuldeep.
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