Trying to be focused as expectations will be high: Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Kuldeep Yadav ahead of Indian Premier League 2020


Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) spinner Kuldeep Yadav feels that the wickets in the UAE would be tailor-made for spinners and there would be a lot of assistance on offer.

In an interaction with ANI, Kuldeep shed light on his expectations from the tournament which will be held in UAE and how he spent time during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

“Experience always helps, pitches in UAE would offer assistance to spinners and if you have played here before then that would be an advantage for you. I feel that the conditions will be in favour of spinners but at the same time pressure will also be there because expectations will be high and people will want to see spinners doing well so I am trying to be focused and do well,” Kuldeep revealed.

Talking about the challenges of a tournament being played on the backdrop of coronavirus, Kuldeep said: “Playing IPL on the backdrop of COVID-19 is challenging but at the same time we need to follow all the protocols given by the local government because if you ignore it then it can hamper the tournament.

“Just because of one player`s mistake the whole IPL can be impacted or if any player of any franchise ends up testing positive for COVID-19, the mood of the team can be affected so it`s important to follow the guidelines.”

The spinner is also optimistic that the franchise can lift the IPL title this year. The franchise had earlier won the IPL in 2012 and 2014 under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir. For this edition, the side would be led by Dinesh Karthik.

“Our team has a good combination but at the same time, you can`t really say that we are best because in IPL all teams are strong. The kind of combination we have and we also got the time of 25 days to prepare and as a result, we got a chance to gel with each other and I feel that if we play with the proper combination we can win the title,” Kuldeep said.

The 25-year-old spinner was last seen in action during the three-match ODI series against New Zealand in February this year. After that, the Men in Blue did not play any cricket due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Speaking about lack of cricket due to lockdown, the spinner said: “It`s a fresh start for me, the lockdown gave me a good amount of time to analyse myself and I worked upon my fitness as well. I feel that there were two phases of lockdown because on one hand the whole world was stopped and on the other hand I felt that this is the time to work hard and to utilise this time to be in good shape.”

The IPL 2020 is slated to be played from September 19-November 10 in the UAE across three venues — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Mumbai Indians will lock horns with Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener on September 19 in Abu Dhabi. Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Mumbai Indians in their first match of the tournament on September 23. 

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