Confidence is everything. So is banishing the demon of self-doubt.
Overlooked in the eleven by Kolkata Knight Riders, last season, Kuldeep Yadav was a shadow of the bowler he could be.
Now, guaranteed a regular place by the Delhi Capitals and regaining his belief and mojo, Kuldeep is a different customer with his teasing left-arm Chinaman bowling.
In a duel within the larger Tata-IPL contest at the Wankhede Stadium, Kuldeep scalped four, bowling with skill and deception, for Delhi Capitals against his old team KKR at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.
Kuldeep tormented with his flight. And struck with his turn. He was the game changer.
Chasing 147 on a surface where the ball was not quite coming on, Delhi Capitals nailed the pursuit but not before a few anxious moments.
When the powerful Rovman Powell pulled Tim Southee for the maximum, the face-off was going to end only one way.
The West Indian’s 16-ball unbeaten 33 sealed a four-wicket win for Delhi.
Earlier, Prithvi Shaw fell early, his leading acrobatically held by bowler Umesh Yadav.
David Warner (42), collecting his runs through short arm jabs, cuts, firm drives and whips, kept Delhi on track.
Warner waded into Rana’s part-time spin and things appeared ominous for KKR.
However, the rejuvenated Umesh, a mover and shaker in this IPL, removed Warner with a well-directed bouncer.
The free stroking Lalit Yadav fell to a delivery spinning into him from Sunil Narine and Pant, playing away from his body, nicked that man Umesh again, to ‘keeper Indrajith.
But then this was a game of fortune swings. Axar Patel struck some lusty blows including an upper-cut six off Andre Russell for a 17-ball 24 before Shreyas’ bullet throw from deep mid-wicket caught him short.
Then Powell’s bludgeoning blows settled the issue.
Earlier, KKR, inserted, progressed to 146 for nine riding on a 34-ball 57 from Nitish Rana.
The left-handed Rana opened his shoulders towards the end. A blistering on-drive off Shardul Thakur was a top shot.
But then, Mustafizur Rahman bowled with control and variations at the Death to deny KKR.
Earlier, it was all Kuldeep. He deceived Baba Indrajith in flight and consumed the left-handed Sunil Narine with a wrong ‘un in his first spell.
Kuldeep returned to have Shreyas Iyer (42) stroking crisply till that point, taken brilliantly off the under-edge by Pant and having the dangerous Russell stumped with a delicious delivery of flight and turn.
Kuldeep is on song again.