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IPL 2022: Rishabh Pant is guiding Kuldeep Yadav like MS Dhoni used to do

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Kuldeep Yadav | BCCI/IPL

Kuldeep Yadav’s childhood coach Kapil Dev Pandey lauded Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Rishabh Pant for backing the wrist-spinner. He said that the keeper-batter is guiding him like MS Dhoni used to do. 

After warming the bench for KKR in the last two seasons, Kuldeep made a sensational comeback in the IPL 2022. He was acquired by DC for INR 2 crores and since then he has been the biggest revelation in the league. 

Kuldeep has been one of the best bowlers in the tournament so far and is currently second on the list of leading wicket-taker in IPL 2022. He has 17 wickets to his name in 9 matches at an average and economy of 15.82 and 8.23, respectively. His best figures came against his former team KKR, where he took 4/14 recently. 

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There’s no doubt that DC skipper Pant has played a pivotal role in his success. The keeper-batter has shown great faith in him by bowling him at the crucial stages and the wrist-spinner has repaid his faith by delivering at almost every stage of the game. Kuldeep has also been backed by head coach Ricky Ponting, who has often been spotted giving valuable tips to him.  

So far, DC have won four matches and Kuldeep has won Player of the Match awards in all victories, which depicts his importance to the team. 

Speaking to Times of India, Kapil Dev Pandey said that Kuldeep Yadav is grateful to DC for giving him the opportunity and is replaying the faith of the franchise. He said that the leg-spinner has the full backing of skipper Pant and head coach Ponting, who have told him to express himself. 

“Kuldeep is so thankful to Delhi Capitals for giving him this opportunity. Delhi showed faith in him and Kuldeep is repaying that faith. Kuldeep needs mental support and he got that from (Rishabh) Pant and (Ricky) Ponting.

“Ponting and Pant have asked Kuldeep to go and express himself in the middle and Kuldeep is doing just that. Kuldeep has the full support of Ponting and Pant. When the captain and coach back you, what else do you need?” Kapil Dev Pandey said. 

Calling Kuldeep a strong player, Pandey said that he has shown his skills to everyone and after he got injured he was adamant to make a comeback as he continued to train hard during his rehab. He added that this is Kuldeep 2.0 version. 

“Kuldeep is taking wickets and has shown the world that the school of thought that he cannot vary his speeds and that he cannot bowl faster deliveries is a wrong one. If you don’t give him an opportunity, how will he perform? KKR didn’t give him many opportunities. He got injured. He is such a strong player that he didn’t pay much heed to the injury. 

“He was adamant that he will make a comeback. He was in rehab and continued to bowl and train for long hours. When he was picked by Delhi, he was a different Kuldeep altogether. He just wanted to go and prove everyone wrong with his bowling. We are seeing the Kuldeep 2.0 version right now,” he said. 

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Pandey also credited Pant for backing Kuldeep and said that the DC skipper is doing what MS Dhoni used to do with the chinaman bowler. He also talked about the things the spinner has improved. 

“Pant is doing what Dhoni used to do with Kuldeep. Pant is guiding Kuldeep the way Dhoni did. Pant has shown a lot of trust in Kuldeep. He is guiding him from behind the stumps, instructing him. Kuldeep and Pant have great coordination on the field. 

“They are on the same page about most things. Kuldeep worked a lot on his lines and lengths. He is not giving room to batsmen now. He is bowling with full confidence,” he said. 

Kuldeep will next be seen in action when Delhi Capitals (DC) face Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday (5th May) at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. 

(TOI inputs) 

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