India’s Kuldeep Yadav said Wednesday (9) he felt both excited and nervous before the final Test against Sri Lanka as the left-arm wrist spinner prepared to fill in for suspended star bowler Ravindra Jadeja.
Yadav is expected to make the starting XI in the Test at Pallekele starting Saturday (12) in place of Jadeja, who was handed a one-match ban for dangerous play in India’s last Test against Sri Lanka.
The 22-year-old spinner made an impressive Test debut against Australia in India in March before going on to claim eight wickets in five one-day international appearances between June and July against the West Indies.
“If I get a chance to play in Sri Lanka I will be very happy because I have been working hard and this will be a result of that. So obviously excited,” Yadav said.
“But also there is nervousness that I should be able to perform.”
Yadav joined the squad for the three-Test series in Sri Lanka, but the presence of world-number one Test bowler Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin denied him a slot in the starting lineup.
Despite being overshadowed, the Kanpur-born player said exposure to these two star spinners had served him well.
“Definitely you will have to wait for your chance if the number-one and number-two spinners are in the same squad as you,” said Yadav.
“It is good that I have worked with them and I have been in the team with them for last 6-7 months… I try to stay with them mostly and keep talking to them and they help me a lot.”
Yadav, one of the few left-arm unorthodox spinners alongside Sri Lanka’s Lakshan Sandakan and South African Tabraiz Shamsi, said the style was gaining in popularity.
“When I started there were hardly any,” he said, adding cricket academies were honing more unorthodox bowlers.
“It is a happy feeling that people have recognised this skill.”