The season on the whole was a disappointing one for the chinaman bowler, who picked just four wickets from nine matches. However, all that is behind now as he gears up for IPL-13.
In a chat with TOI, Kuldeep talks about mental challenge of being in the bio-bubble, IPL preparation and others.
How challenging is it to stay in a bio-secure bubble?
It’s definitely challenging to stay put in the hotel rooms. But I must say, it was good to spend time with teammates. I feel this quarantine has helped build the team spirit. I mostly spend time in the team room with friends. That apart, we also had fun sessions like Bollywood quiz and antakshari.
Last IPL season wasn’t a happy one for you. Tell us about your preparation this season.
I am confident about my preparation. I have worked hard and made several changes to my bowling as well as worked on new variations. The idea is to keep improving and I feel I am ready for the tournament. I trained hard soon after the lockdown was over and I am sure that will reflect in my performances this year.
The pitches in UAE are expected to suit spinners. Are you ready to lead the attack, now that Piyush Chawla is no longer in the side?
Spinners will play a big role in this edition of the IPL, considering the nature of the pitches here. PC bhai (Piyush Chawla) has been a top performer for KKR and we all will miss him. But that’s how teams are formed. Over the years I have gained experience and I am ready to handle the pressure.
What are KKR’s chances of winning their third title?
We have a very good combination . We have a very good chance of winning the title this year. The auction was good and we picked the right players, especially Eoin Morgan. Having him is a huge advantage. He will take a lot of pressure off skipper Dinesh Karthik. It’s difficult for a wicketkeeper to keep an eye on everything.
How is it like bowling in tandem with Sunil Narine?
I have always enjoyed bowling with Sunil. He keeps building the pressure from one end and that gives me the opportunity to pick up wickets. Bowling in pairs is very important in T20 and the eight overs in the middle are very crucial. We have a very good understanding.
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