Kuldeep Yadav didn't find a place in India's Test squad for the upcoming World Test Championship final as well as the five-match Test series against England. The left-arm chinaman spinner had been going through a rough patch and failed to take a single wicket in the ODI series against England, which took place ahead of the IPL.
In the Indian Premier League, Kuldeep didn't play a single game for the Kolkata Knight Riders before the tournament was suspended last week.
In an interview with newspaper Indian Express, Kuldeep talked about his struggles on the field and conceded that he missed the guidance of former Indian captain MS Dhoni from behind the stumps.
Dhoni had retired from all formats of international cricket in August last year. Rishabh Pant has since taken his place in the side, owing to a series of consistent performances.
"Sometimes I miss that guidance because he (Mahi) has great experience. He used to guide us behind the wicket, kept screaming! We miss his experience. Rishabh is there now, the more he plays, the more input he will give in the future. I always felt every bowler needs a partner who can respond from the other end," Kuldeep told The Indian Express.
"When Mahibhai was there, I and Chahal were playing. Ever since Mahi bhai left, Chahal and I haven't played together. I played only a handful of games after Mahibhai left. I must have played ten-odd games. I had even taken a hat-trick. If you look at the performance as a whole, it will look pretty decent but if one breaks it up then my performance sometimes can look not up to the mark. One has to also look at the opposition we are playing against," he added.
Kuldeep further said that he "didn't play as many matches" as he expected he would.
"I didn't play as many matches as I expected to, and somewhere I was low on confidence. When you are playing non-stop, players do feel high on confidence. The more one sits out the more it gets tougher. I felt a huge pressure on me when I played the Test against England in Chennai this February," Kuldeep said.