The credit for the immense success of Kuldeep Yadav can be given to the Indian Premier League. The chinamen made his IPL debut in 2016 with Kolkata Knight Riders under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir and since then has been among their most valuable players. His performance in the money rich league also helped him get into the Indian team where he impressed everyone with his skills. In a video posted by the KKR, Kuldeep Yadav has thanked the Kolkata Knight Riders for backing him in his early days.
In my first season with KKR, I was a youngster and our team was packed with the likes of Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla and we had a few more good spinners in our squad," Kuldeep added.
"I always felt that it was a good time for me to learn and get better. I was coming out of my U-19 days. As KKR have always backed youngsters, they took good care of me. So that first season would always be important for me," said Kuldeep
He further lauded Gautam Gambhir for shaping up his career and added that it was Gambhir who helped enhance his skills and become a better bowler.
"I was a senior player during the 2014 U19 World Cup and performances happened exactly according to expectations. From there I was selected for KKR and life changed drastically. I got plenty of time in KKR. There were a lot of senior players, especially Gautam Gambhir,"
"I always keep thanking him. He guided me as a leader and taught me everything. Even before I was about to play in the Champions League, he advised me what to bowl, how to hone my skills and become a confident player, he concluded.
Kuldeep Yadav has been instrumental in Kolkata Knight Rider’s success in the IPL. He accounted for 29 wickets in 2017 and 2018 season. A string of poor performances since 2019 saw him being sidelined for the most part of IPL 2020. However, the KKR management have retained him for the 2021 edition of the Indian Primier League.
Talking about his retention, Gautam Gambhir said that he’s surprised that the management backed him for the next season.
"I am a little surprised about Kuldeep Yadav being retained because he did not get the opportunities. I would have wanted to see Kuldeep Yadav go to a franchise where he gets an opportunity to play. Because if you are playing for India and not part of your franchise's playing XI, it is somewhere or the other be harmful to your career," said Gambhir.