IPL 2022: Delhi Capitals gave Kuldeep Yadav a sense of security, says Axar Patel


Delhi Capitals all-rounder Axar Patel said Kuldeep Yadav received a sense of mental security at the DC camp that made the most of the Indian wrist spinner in the IPL 2022 game against the Mumbai Indians.

Kuldeep, who had been warming up the Kolkata Knight Riders bench for the past two seasons, made a match-winning debut for Delhi Capitals and returned 3-18 to be named Player of the Match in the opener of the 2022 IPL Brabourne.

“It’s just the mindset. He was struggling in the IPL as his place for KKR wasn’t secured. He wasn’t sure if he would play all their games,” Axar said at the post-game media conference when he was asked about the secret of Kuldeep’s turn.

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“But he has this certainty of playing games after coming here. When you know your place is safe and you don’t have to appear in two games or you’ll be sacked from the team, then you can do your best. “

Kuldeep wasn’t selected for a single game last season and injury forced him out of the tournament.

In 2020, he featured in just five games when the weirdo fell out of favor with the arrival of Varun Chakravarthy in KKR’s scheme of things.

Kuldeep, who joined KKR in the 2016 season, has played a total of 45 games for the franchise and won 40 wickets with an average of 30.90.

But after being bought by Delhi for Rs 2 crore at the IPL mega auction, Kuldeep got a chance in the first game himself.

He took full advantage of the opportunity, firing key hitting duo Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard to derail Mumbai in the middle overs.

Patel said their team think tank, led by Australian great Ricky Ponting, boosted his morale.

“The way (head coach) Ricky (Ponting), other coaches and the captain (Rishabh Pant) supported him, he was able to do his best,” he said after Delhi recorded an impressive four-wicket win over Mumbai Indian here on Sunday.

“Even during training we tell him you can do well. It’s about that certainty. He has that mental shift that he’s going to play all the games so he can do his best.”

Delhi Capitals chased 178 and sealed the pursuit in 18.2 overs, with Axar Patel (38 not off from 17 balls) and Lalit Yadav (48 not off; 38b) taking the initiative after going 72 for 5 within 10 overs.

“We never lost hope, we knew we could hit deep. Ricky always said never give up hope, never thought we were out of the game. We just followed our instincts the game deep,” said Patel.

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