Son of a brick kiln owner, Kuldeep Yadav was a meritorious student and played cricket just for fun. It was his father who wanted him to pursue cricket as a career and took him to coach Kapil Pandey. Yadav started as a fast bowler but was then advised by his coach to switch to left-arm wrist spin. Chinaman bowlers are a rare breed and soon Kuldeep began to master that art.
Kuldeep was first picked in the Indian U19 team as a 17-year old but missed out on the selection for the World Cup. He didn't lose hope though and kept working on his game. Eventually, Yadav got the ticket to 2014 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup where he took a hat-trick against Scotland and finished as the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
Yadav was initially in the Mumbai squad in the 2012 season but then he was acquired by Kolkata in 2014. After warming the bench for the entire season, Kuldeep finally got the chance to make his debut in the Champions League. He played a perfect foil to Sunil Narine and impressed with his economical spells. In the same year, Yadav made his maiden First Class and List A appearances as well. He was first selected in the national team for an ODI series against West Indies at home but unfortunately, the tour was withdrawn due to a dispute between the West Indian players and the board.
After a wait of almost three years, Kuldeep Yadav eventually made his debut for India, albeit in the longer format of the game. He picked 4/68 against Australia in Dharamsala and took no time in proving his mettle. Soon he was drafted in the Indian ODI squad as well and with the selectors having in mind that the wrist spinners are the way forward, Kuldeep along with Yuzvendra Chahal formed a strong alliance ahead of the 2019 World Cup.