Leg spinner Kuldeep Yadav was all praise for his captain Virat Kohli. Kuldeep took two wickets in the lone T20I in which India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets. “He leads from the front with both the bat and even in fielding also. Wherever he is fielding, he gives it his all. So it is a motivation in itself seeing him on the field, or whether he is training in the nets,” said Yadav.
Yadav said that Kohli gives freedom to the bowlers. “Virat is a leader. He gives you everything you want on the field,” he said, “When I am bowling, he comes to me and asks what field I want. That’s what bowlers want to hear and he gives bowlers freedom. He has given me tremendous support through the Test series, the ODIs and now too. So I am very happy with this kind of team unity as well as the leader.”
Kohli is also arguably the best fielder in the Indian side. Yadav said that his dedication in whichever position he is fielding in is a source inspiration for all players. “Looking at him, if we can improve our fielding even by one percent, that will be good. He talks to younger players about what he wants from them and what we need from the team,” he said.
Yadav played in the third Test at Pallikele, the final two ODIs and the lone T20I. He has experienced a remarkable eise in stature over the past one year since making his Test debut against Australia. “Till now it has been very challenging for me as well but I am very happy with my performance. I got the chance in the last Test match to perform well. In ODIs I played the last two matches and performed well. I think I did well in the T20 too,” he said. “As a player you have to perform in every game. It’s a pressure game. Everyone has to contribute especially when the captain and coach decide to rotate players. I am very happy with the policy, and you have to give credit to captain and coach because the World Cup is coming so they wanted to try out everyone,” said Yadav.
In the final ODI and the last T20I, Yadav worked in tandem with fellow leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. Chahal took three wickets and alongwith Yadav, changed the course of the game. “It was good bowling with him. If two leg spinners are playing then there is more opportunity to take wickets. In this match we took five wickets together,” Yadav said. “So if two leg spinners are playing more chances come to take wickets if you bowl in partnerships. And it is also difficult for the batting side to score runs.”