Indian left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav has credited the influence of Wasim Akram during his time at Kolkata Knight Riders for preparing him for international cricket. Akram was the bowling coach of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise for a brief period where the 25-year-old Kuldeep was groomed.
Kuldeep recalled that Akram was a very easy person to converse with despite his seniority and icon status in the sport. Kuldeep focused on the valuable lessons taught under the tutelage of Akram, which included tackling pressure situations and mental toughness.
"He didn’t speak much about bowling, but he prepared me a lot in terms of mentally taking on the game. He prepared me to take on different situations in different ways, and taught me how to react when batsmen put you under pressure. He was someone who had a big influence on me during those early years,” Kuldeep said in a recent interview.