Kuldeep Yadav's performance will be crucial as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) aim for a third title in the 12th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), starting on March 23. Ahead of their first game of the IPL 2019 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Gardens on Sunday, KKR spin bowling coach Carl Crowe displayed his faith in the 24-year-old bowler. Praising Kuldeep Yadav's attitude in pressure situations, Carl Crowe said: "I have been around KKR now for 2-3 years and it's been quite a bit of time working with Kuldeep and seeing his progression. One thing that struck me is how grounded he is. How calm he is."
"Kuldeep has big heart. He is prepared to get hit. Even the best in the world get hit. If you scrutinise him, even if he is getting hit or on top, you see the same sort of approach and manner. It's difficult to fathom what's going inside. As a spinner if you have that attitude, its a big advantage," the bowling coach added.
The Englishman who played 42 first class matches and took 60 wickets with his right-arm offbreak said whatever 'mystery' Kuldeep has on the field is due to his unwavering determination.
"People talk about mystery spin but that's what you see. What you don't see is his calmness. When the ground is full and he is bowling to a Virat (Kohli) or a AB (de Villiers) that calm is what makes you successful. And Kuldeep has that," he said.
Crowe added that Sunil Narine has worked on "hiding" the ball from batsmen to keep the mystery despite the scrutiny of his action.
Crowe helped West Indies' Narine bounce back after being suspended several times for suspect action. Asked about batsmen reading his "mystery" with so much technology around, the 43-year old said since last year Narine changed his action and is still working on it.
"With so much analysis, we are aware of that (the mystery being solved). His action changed slightly since last year in terms of hiding the ball," Crowe said ahead of KKR's practice session at the Eden Gardens.
"We are working on him in terms of staying ahead of batsmen. After IPL, we have plans for next year with mystery ball, hiding the ball. We are one step ahead of them and are looking at new ways to hide (the ball) and make sure batsmen don't pick up," he added.
Narine picked up 17 wickets from 16 games last season, helping the Dinesh Karthik-led KKR reach playoffs for the third time in a row.
(With IANS inputs)