Kolkata: Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav on Monday said playing the full Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy will hold him in good stead in the limited-overs series in South Africa.
Kuldeep, who will leave for South Africa on January 24 for the ODI series, said he expects to reap the harvest of a good domestic season in South Africa.
"So far it has been good. I have played the full T20 season (Syed Mushtaq Ali). My rhythm is good, so hopefully I will be able to continue bowling well there (in South Africa) as well," a confident Kuldeep said.
Asked how important is Mushtaq Ali Trophy for him, the 23-year-old unorthodox bowler said: "Every game here is important as an individual and as a team. The team needs you and it is a matter of pride to play for the state always. The state has given you everything, so I came to play.
"It also gives you good match practice as you get to play against big players," he added.
Kuldeep said he always looks to take wickets and is not afraid of leaking runs.
"You will leak runs in T20 cricket. T20 is all about how many wickets you take. Wickets help the team in this format.
"When there is a score of 230 plus on the board, you know the opposition will go for runs. I always look to take wickets and not restrict runs. If I look to restrict runs, I can end up conceding more maybe," he said.
Looking lean, Kuldeep said it's all about staying fit to live up to the demands of the side led by Virat Kohli. "When you are playing for India, you have to be fit. Also if you want to survive for a long time, fitness is very important. I have been working a lot on my fitness for the last two years," he said.
Kuldeep, who came into the reckoning with his impressive performances for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL, did not hide his desire to play for the franchise again.
KKR may not have retained Kuldeep but the chinaman bowler, who has set a base price of Rs 1.5 crore for the IPL auction on weekend, dropped enough hints that he may be back with the option of 'Right to Match' card.
"It's been five years with KKR. It is like family and this is like a home ground for me. I know the angles from where to bowl and I am well-versed with the wicket as well," Kuldeep said.
"I don't feel pressure here as I have played here for five years. This has been a lucky ground for me."