Spinner Kuldeep Yadav has vowed to be mentally well prepared for this year's Indian Premier League.
Yadav weathered a disappointing 2019 IPL campaign – and was eventually omitted from the Kolkata Knight Riders' first-choice XI.
However, he has been retained by Kolkata – and eager to impress during the pursuit of the 2020 IPL title.
What Yadav said
“In 2019, it was definitely a tough one. I learned a lot from those testing times, and the biggest positive for me was to realise I could have actually just planned things better,” said Yadav.
“If I had spent some hours thinking more and given more time to myself, I could have performed better. In 2020, my aim is to try and plan every game better, and give myself more time so that I have more head-space to reflect on my game.
“Now everyone knows how Kuldeep bowls – he is a chinaman, who has wrong-uns, flippers. So after a point, it became crucial for me to bring some small changes in my bowling, something which the batsmen find difficult to figure out.
“You are constantly playing a lot of matches. It is important to find time for yourself, and plan well for each and every game.
“I want to be more mentally prepared this year. I will definitely take the help of video analysts and speak to the bowling coach, Bharat Arun, in the nets, where we can figure out the strengths and weaknesses of various batsmen we play against.”
IPL team-mates of Yadav
Yadav will be joined by several international stars at KKR, who have retained West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell and recruited Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins. They also have New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson – and England trio Tom Banton, Eoin Morgan and Harry Gurney. Spinners Sunil Narine and Chris Green are also in Kolkata's squad. The Knight Riders' captain is wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik.
Kolkata won the IPL in 2012 and 2014. They have a new head coach in former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum. He has succeeded former head coach Jacques Kallis, who has joined South Africa's coaching staff for the ongoing series against England.