Often for an athlete, a small technical tweak can lead to a massive turnaround in fortunes. While Kuldeep Yadav was struggling to find his form not so long back - he lost his spot in the national team and wasn’t doing particularly well with Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League - he is now in a good space.

The last IPL went well for him at the Delhi Capitals, and since then, in the chances he has got with the Indian squad, he has impressed regularly.

The most recent, a superb performance in Delhi against South Africa in the ODI series decider, saw India bowl the visitors out for 99 with Kuldeep taking four wickets.

Finding his confidence. Finding his rhythm. And staying practical. These aspects seem to have put the wrist-spinner in a good space after a period where he struggled.

“I have worked quite a bit on my rhythm after coming back from injury,” Kuldeep said in the post-match press conference after his player-of-the-match performance. “Earlier, I used to impart pace on the ball from my arms. But now I got the rhythm to vary the pace. I am not compromising on the spin now. I got the confidence from the IPL. But my focus has always been on getting the ball to spin.”

Of course, he was also asked about whether he is disappointed about not making the squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia, despite his good form.

“I am not disappointed (on not getting selected) for the World Cup as I am working on my process match by match. I am assessing how I can improve. Whoever has been selected is the best, and my best wishes to the team,” was his reply.

The recent good form for Kuldeep has been about riding on his confidence.

“My confidence has gone up because of the IPL season. I got injured after that again. Then again I bowled well against West Indies, Zimbabwe and in the India A series. Confidence not about taking wickets or not. Confidence is high, I am able to now pitch the ball where I want to,” he said.

Staying practical

With India managing the workload across formats and the A side matches happening recently, Kuldeep has had consistent game time. He played in the West Indies and Zimbabwe, and also India A series at home against New Zealand.

“Matches are important, I am lucky to get these opportunities to keep my confidence up. You may bowl a lot in the nets but you can get an idea of what mistakes you are making when you are bowling in matches. Any cricketer needs game time,” he said.

With him featuring in ODIs recently, and the next World Cup in the format at home a year away, Kuldeep was asked about his thoughts on that.

“The [ODI] World Cup is far away. I am not thinking about it. I have become very practical now with things. I just try to concentrate on the series I play. I have become experienced now in white-ball cricket, so I have an idea on how to bowl. My aim is to perform well in every series, that is my task. I have the experience to know how to bowl in the longer format. I now know the difference between bowling in ODIs and T20s,” he said.

The 27-year-old also went on to elaborate on the difference, in his view, of bowling spin in the 50-over format and the 20-over format.

“There is a lot of difference between T20 and ODI. I realised it after playing IPL. In Zimbabwe I had to change my rhythm and pace, which was in T20 mode. The batter has a lot of time to play a shot so I had to vary my pace. I realised pace is very important, based on what the batter is trying to do. In T20 format, the focus is more on hitting the right length. The ball shouldn’t go too forward, it’s rare to flight the ball too much,” Kuldeep said.

The press conference started on an interesting note, asking whether he misses ‘KulCha’ – the moniker given to his partnership with Yuzvendra Chahal, when they were in good form together not so long ago. While Chahal is in the World Cup squad, Kuldeep is working his way back into reckoning.

Bahut tricky question hai yeh. (laughs). He is there for the World Cup, my best wishes are with Chahal for doing well there. But my focus now is on the ODIs, I am enjoying this.”

You can watch the press conference here