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Kuldeep Yadav thanks Suryakumar Yadav for two-minute pep talk helping in mental preparation

Colombo : India’s left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav thanked middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav for giving him a two-minute pep talk aiding him in his mental preparation ahead of playing a vital hand in defending 213 against Sri Lanka in the Super Four stage of Asia Cup.

After picking 5-25 against Pakistan in a rain-hit Super Four match at the R Premadasa Stadium, Kuldeep took 4-43 against Sri Lanka. He also became the leading wicket-taker for the visitors in the Asia Cup, as India won by 41 runs to seal their place in the title clash on September 17.

“You gave me a two-minute pep talk to not let the batters loose. It happens when you take five wickets, you get relaxed in your body language. Despite maintaining the confidence level, but the body language can get relaxed.”

“So those two minutes were extremely important to me, and it helped me stay in the game, and I got mentally prepared to take wickets and do my duty for the team, so thank you, Surya bhai,” said Kuldeep in a video on

Kuldeep also credited sticking to his routine and having a good recovery session to keep up his good form as well as in bowling on consecutive days. “Won’t say much, but would say that I am enjoying my bowling and have worked a lot on it in the last two years. Right now, I am feeling very confident and I am following the aggressiveness in my rhythm and routine.”

“I am just looking to hit the right length and there are very small things which aren’t visible on TV, like I was speaking to you before the match began. After bowling ten overs on Monday, we had a good recovery session by going to the pool and ate food well. Following day, I woke up at 10:30am and had the breakfast well.”

“When you are playing for India, you are automatically motivated to do well in every game you play. With the way I have been performing, I don’t want to drop that and a lot of credit goes to people around me, like you gave me that two-minute talk.”

Kuldeep also revealed how wicketkeeper KL Rahul helped him in getting Sadeera Samarawickrama stumped out. “Since it was spinning too much, Rahul bhai advised me to keep the ball away from the off-stump. The length deliveries were not helping me to get wickets as he was dealing with it to make it dot balls and, square leg fielder was stationed inside too.”

“So, when I bowled a bit wider, it drifted well to come in and gave positive results. So, it was part of the planning. We did the same thing yesterday to get rid of Shadab. The idea was to utilize the spin by bowling away from the off stump. So, a big credit goes to Rahul as well.”

Though Suryakumar wasn’t in the playing eleven, he had an important contribution by taking a sensational forward diving catch at mid-on to dismiss Maheesh Theekshana. He talked about how working hard on his fielding, even if he’s not in playing eleven, helped him make an impactful contribution in a crucial juncture of the match.

“As you (Kuldeep) said, it’s always motivating when you play for India. There’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes and the person not playing in the eleven is always working hard to grab that chance of inclusion and do well.”

“Even when I am not in the playing eleven, I try to work hard and ensure that I do my best whether I get the opportunity, even if its fielding. I work towards making at least one important run out or catch when I am in as a substitute fielder.”

“We worked hard for that in the fielding sessions with the fielding coach T Dilip sir for 35-40 minutes. It’s just that you need to keep working hard for your chance and if you get that one opportunity to change the game, then give it your best.”

Suryakumar also credited captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya for creating positive vibes while fielding. “I try to keep good energy on the field and the energy of players like Virat (Kohli) bhai, Rohit (Sharma) bhai, Hardik (Pandya) rubs off, by spending time on the field. It’s a long day in the field so I ensure my energy levels are high alongside them. If you (Kuldeep) take nine more wickets in next two games, then it will be great fun.

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