Being selected for MI as a 16-year-old was a big moment: Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav

Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav stated that he was over the moon when the Mumbai Indians (MI) snapped him up in the IPL 2012 auction at just 16 years of age.

Kuldeep Yadav had then only just made it to the Indian U19 team that travelled to Australia for a tri-series. The then 16-year-old picked up a couple of wickets in the two games that he played, and that was enough to catch MI’s attention.

“I joined the India U19 team in 2012 and it was a 16-member squad that was supposed to travel to Australia for a tri-series. I was just 16 years old then and I was very happy as I thought I would get selected as Bharat Arun sir and R Sridhar sir were the coaches and they had seen me from my U-15 days at the NCA,” Kuldeep Yadav said.

Speaking in a video on KKR’s official Facebook page, Kuldeep Yadav also explained how it felt to be a part of the star-studded MI squad in 2012.

“The same season, I got selected for the Mumbai Indians. That was a very big moment for me as there were hardly one-two players in that batch in the IPL,” he added.

Although Kuldeep Yadav didn’t get an opportunity to play for MI, he believes he got a lot to learn by just being a part of the dressing room consisting of a number of legends.

The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, etc. were the stars of Indian cricket that the youngster looked up to in his formative years. Thus, it was a privilege for him to have an opportunity to speak about cricket with them. He believes that stint surely made him a matured cricketer at a very young age.

“In Mumbai Indians, I got exposed to playing with legendary players and that made me comfortable and mature as a cricketer. Rohit Bhai and Bhajju Pa were there too. So just by being with international players, I got to learn a lot of things. After that very season, I played U-19 for India and was already a matured cricketer,” Kuldeep Yadav said.

Kuldeep Yadav has played 45 IPL games so far and has picked up 40 wickets – stats that surely doesn’t do justice to his potential. Even after having two poor seasons with KKR, the franchise have held on to him because they know that they have a match-winner in the 26-year-old.

Thus, he would be buoyed by the confidence shown in him by the KKR think tank and will be eager to get on to the field and get back among the wickets.

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