India vs England: ‘Playing a Test After Two Years Will Be Similar to Making Debut’ – Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav could finally get his chance in India’s playing XI after having missed all four Tests in Australia, when they take on England in the four-Test series starting in Chennai on February 5.
Kuldeep, who couldn’t break into the XI despite India suffering numerous injuries in Australia, said he was ‘completely ready’ and compared his return to making a debut again.
“I would be playing a Test match after nearly after two years, so it would be similar to making your debut,” he told ESPNcricinfo. “I want to perform for the team and give 100%, like always. You will naturally feel the same nervousness. There will also be pressure to do well. Everyone is watching you, expectations are big, and when the team is playing well, you want to contribute – big or small, put in the effort, and when you do that, your role is praised. When you don’t play you feel like, yes, you should be playing. But then for the sake of team you have to understand that you need to sit out.”
Kuldeep said his confidence will return when he plays regularly.
“When you play regular cricket, the confidence comes automatically. If I play the first match, I will be in a better position to play the next game. Mentally I have kept myself very relaxed. Accordingly, my confidence level will be peaking.
“I have worked hard a lot. I feel that perhaps it is now my time to stand up for the team, to perform for the team. I am ready completely.”
The left-arm spinner also opened up on backing he received from the team management, saying it meant a lot for him. After the series win in Australia, Ajinkya Rahane had lauded Kuldeep for his hardwork in the nets and said ‘your time will come’.
“It is very important when your captain sees you work hard. It was very difficult for Rahane as well as the team management. But there was no difference in my process and my work. I believed in both. I felt really good about the words he said because if your captain is backing you and appreciating you, it counts a lot and motivates you very much.
“Both Ajju bhai and the team management completely backed me and I never felt I was sitting out. From the support staff to Ravi bhai to the captain, all kept a close watch on me. When you are not playing it is not easy for the team management to focus on the player who is sitting out”