Brick kiln owner Ram Singh Yadav is on top of the world. His only son Kuldeep Yadav made a dream Test debut against Australia in Dharamsala on Saturday, taking four wickets. (Dharamsala Test, Day 1 highlights)
Justifiably proud of his son’s performance, Ram Singh Yadav told HT: “Kuldeep worked very hard to be selected in the Indian Test team. He has struggled a lot. I hope there’s no looking back for him now.” (Scorecard)
The Kanpur-born 22-year-old had waited patiently in the wings. On Saturday,former leg-spinner and commentator Laxman Sivaramakrishnan handed him the Test cap against the backdrop of the Dhauladhar range at the HPCA Stadium as a shoulder injury ruled out skipper Virat Kohli.
His childhood coach Kapil Pandey said Kuldeep wanted to be a fast bowler when he first joined his cricket academy in the industrial city. “But I asked him to switch to chinaman, a much rarer variety of bowling. The change was not easy but he soon realised that bowling spin was the way forward for him,” said Pandey.
Even as a junior cricketer, Kuldeep had impressed quite early. He was the first Indian to take a hattrick in the 2014 ICC U-19 World Cup against Scotland in Dubai. He grabbed the attention of cricket lovers by becoming India’s leading wicket taker in the tournament.
He was also a member of the Mumbai Indians squad in 2012 and signed up for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2014. He represented KKR in the 2014 Champions League T20.
He was part of the India squad for the series against West Indies in October 2014 but did not appear in any of the matches. In February 2017, he was added to India’s Test squad for their one-off match against Bangladesh but had to wait for his debut. It seems, his prolonged stay with the India squad did not go waste.