Kyle Mills, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowling coach explained Kuldeep Yadav’s absence in KKR as he missed last two matches but stressed upon the fact that he is currently one of the best spinners dominating world cricket.
Kuldeep Yadav had picked up only 1 wicket in IPL 2020 and had figures of 0/39, 0/15 and 1/20 before being dropped from the XI for KKR’s two latest matches. He picked up solitary wicket against Rajasthan Royals but went wicketless against Mumbai Indians and SunRisers Hyderabad. He was dropped against Delhi and CSK.
Kyle Mills: Kuldeep Yadav Doesn’t Fit Make-up Of Group And Size Of Grounds
Kolkata Knight Riders persisted with spinner Sunil Narine despite the West Indian picking only 3 wickets from 5 matches averaging 50. His batting as a pinch-hitter hasn’t been up to the mark as he has notched up only 44 runs in 5 matches averaging a pathetic 8.8.
“Kuldeep is one of the best spinners in the world. But just with the make-up of the group at the moment and the size of grounds, it’s the reason we went for this XI today and Kuldeep was left out,” Mills said in the post-match media conference.
“I guess competition is good, isn’t it? We’ve got a very big squad, a very competitive squad for certain spots within the group and Kuldeep has missed out the last two games, but he has presence within the group, he is still giving to the team.”
In Kuldeep Yadav’s absence, Varun Chakravarthy has picked up 5 wickets in 4 matches averaging 25.4. Kuldeep Yadav has picked only one wicket averaging a pathetic 74. His economy rate of 8.22 hasn’t been good either. In IPL career, Kuldeep Yadav has picked up 40 wickets from 43 matches averaging 30.45.
Kyle Mills: Kuldeep Yadav Wants To Get Back Into Starting XI And Competition Is Intense In KKR Bench
Kolkata Knight Riders have a lot of players in the bench including pacer Lockie Ferguson, Ali Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Manimaran Siddharth and spinner Chris Green, wicketkeeper Tom Banton and batsmen Rinku Singh and Siddhesh Lad who are yet to feature in a single game in IPL 2020. Nikhil Naik and Sandeep Warrier have played only 1 match where they failed.
“We have a team culture, and a team perspective within the group and this was asked of the players, and it’s not easy for any cricketer to miss out on the starting XI.”
“But Kuldeep is training the house down, he wants to get back into the starting XI and so competition within the group is certainly aiding our performance on the park.”
Kyle Mills also praised Rahul Tripathi, Man of the Match in the game against Chennai Super Kings for his valiant 51-ball 81 which has set a benchmark for players in the bench.
” He’s been an example for young people who are fighting for a spot in the team. He’s an example to everyone really. He’s reaping the rewards from the last game,” Kyle Mills said.
Kyle Mills also spoke highly of Sunil Narine saying the decision to play him at No. 4 worked in their favour after he was removed from the opening slot after a string of poor performance with the bat as a pinch -hitter.
“As they say, a change is as good as a holiday… We have used him as a pinch-hitter, this hasn’t quite worked for him at the top,” Mills said.
“So, taking him down lower the order gave Tripathi an opportunity and he took that with both hands. Narine came in and played a little cameo, to be fair and gave us a little bit of momentum at that time.”
KKR are at 3rd place on the points table with six points in five matches with three wins and two defeats. RCB also has six points from as many games but are behind on net run rate.