Bengaluru: Former India spinner Sunil Joshi described Kuldeep Yadav as a “great talent” and backed him to succeed in Test cricket.

According to him, the youngster needs to be given more chances and that will help him to be a “master” in red-ball cricket.

Joshi, who played 15 Tests and 69 ODIs for India, is currently the spin consultant of Bangladesh.

He is confident that the Virat Kohli-led Indian side will bounce back in the third Test against England starting on Saturday in Trent Bridge, Nottingham. India trail 0-2 in the five-match series.

In an exclusive interview with MyNation, the 48-year-old shared his views on Indian cricket, Kuldeep, the Bangladesh team, Karnataka Premier League (KPL) and on coaching Indian spinners in future.


My Nation: What are your views on left-arm Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav?

Sunil Joshi: I think Kuldeep is a great talent. Of course he has done very well in the shorter formats of the game. But still he is a beginner in red-ball cricket. Obviously, the more he plays Test cricket, he will become a master of the longer version too. He has the potential and skill to succeed. He is definitely a player to watch in the future.

MN: Why did you think he struggled in the Lord’s Test recently against England which India lost by a huge margin?

SJ: Not only him, other Indian bowlers struggled too. It is probably because of the conditions. Probably they could have handled him better. There were not many runs for Kuldeep to defend as well. He did not have much choice. But you have to accept the challenge. It is Test cricket. That is what red-ball cricket is all about. You have to take up the challenge and deliver.

MN: Can the Indian team bounce back in the third Test in Nottingham?

SJ: No doubt about it. We all know how talented this Indian team is. They are true fighters. I am sure Virat Kohli will be fit and we will see a challenging Test match. They will come back hard at England. At the same time I would like to add that Test cricket is of high quality. Be prepared. It is a test of character, test of patience and test of skills and ability. That is why it is called Test cricket.

MN: Do you think the Indian batsmen are struggling due to a lack of preparation in the longer format?

SJ: The most important thing in Test cricket, for a batsman, is knowing where your off-stump is. You got to leave more balls. The more you leave deliveries, the better. And you need to work hard in Test cricket, you need to get your clothes dirty. In five-day cricket you can’t be smart and clean. You have to work hard. The best example for conditions in England is Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar. The number of balls they would have left in such conditions. That is the class and history of those great Indian batsmen in the past. Some of these players have these abilities. It is now mind over body.


MN: Are you happy with Indian cricket's development under captain Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri?

SJ: We need to give them time and see how it goes. This Indian team has the ability but you need to look at the results as well. You need to address certain areas. If they are taken care of, definitely results will follow.

MN: Do we see Sunil Joshi as a spin consultant to the Indian team in future?

SJ: That I will leave to the man sitting above in the sky (almighty). Let us hope for the best.

MN: You are working with the Bangladesh team. How has been their progress so far?

SJ: It has been a great progress since I have been involved with the Bangladesh national team as a spin consultant. It is very pleasing for me to work with them and see their progress. They have recently beaten West Indies in West Indies. That shows the depth and quality. In the past one-and-a-half years the skill levels have improved. Shakib Al Hasan is leading from the front. Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim are doing very well. They have Sabbir Rahman, Liton Das and the others are talented too. The best part about Bangladesh players is their passion for the game. They want to do well in international cricket and that is why they are a very competitive side.

MN: How has the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) helped youngsters in the State?

SJ: KPL is a brilliant tournament. It is a great platform for all the talented Karnataka players from the district who dream of playing for the state, national side and in the Indian Premier League (IPL). This is the tournament where youngsters have a chance to showcase their talent. It has moved from Bengaluru to Hubballi to Mysuru had the response has been great. In future, it might be held in other towns as well. The popularity of the tournament has grown massively since its inception in 2009. This is the place (M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru) to begin the journey in KPL — my home ground.