India’s thunderous performance in the just-concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy continues to draw extensive praise across cricketing fraternity. It was India’s first consecutive Test series win Down Under.

Although India possessed a healthy squad during the initial phase of the series, nine injuries compelled the side to field a second-string team, that overcame all the challenges and rose victorious. While the series saw a few debutants, what was notable that experienced young chinaman spinner, Kuldeep Yadav failed to get a single game.

While fans and experts are split on if Kuldeep should have got a chance, the spinner himself has stated that he was ready to feature in the Brisbane Test. However, he has also made it clear that he holds no hard feelings for the same, as the team comes first.

“It was actually quite difficult to stay inside bubble for long so long and then focus on the game. But, the captain and the team management had told us that we should not think much about all those factors, and should focus on the game. The objective was simple - we had gone there to play, so the whole focus on performing well and clinch the series,” he said in an exclusive interview to Sportstar.

“We, obviously, did not get off to a good start in the series and after that debacle in Adelaide (where India lost the first Test after being bundled out for 36 in the second innings), we had a discussion the next day. Ravi bhai (head coach Ravi Shastri) said that we should now treat it as a three-match series and prepare accordingly. All the players have always put the team first and we did not think about what was happening around. Our only target was to play well and bounce back in the series. The team had a fighting spirit throughout,” he added.

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Speaking on if he regrets missing out on the final Test in Brisbane, Kuldeep confirmed, “You have to prepare yourself in such a way so that whenever an opportunity comes your way, you are ready for the challenge. I was ready till the final Test. Yes, there were injury woes ahead of the final Test and we knew that some of our players won’t be available, but we decided to stick to our plans. We would discuss on how our field set up be, or what would be the strategy, rather than thinking about who’s injured. I had my goals set. When we reached Brisbane, I thought maybe, I could get a chance to play, but after a look at the wicket - which appeared to be slightly green - it was decided that we would go for four fast bowlers. That was the correct decision.”

“Ravi sir backed me a lot, so did Virat bhai. I had long chats with Arun sir, who kept on encouraging me and said that “tera time aayega” (your time will come) and that I should perform well. It’s not that they left me out of the plan just because I was not playing and those discussions definitely helped me,” he admitted.

Speaking on the upcoming home Test series against England, Kuldeep backed England to be tough, following their splendid outing in Sri Lanka. However, he warned that it would take some time to adjust with India’s SG balls, in contrast to the Kookaburra in Lanka.

“England played good cricket against Sri Lanka and the team is in good form. They have handled the spinners well in Sri Lanka. But, at the same time, there will be a slight difference between the SG balls and the Kookaburra balls, so players will have to adjust a bit. Whenever England comes for Tests, they are well-prepared,” he concluded.