Yasir Shah has a challenger in Kuldeep Yadav, says spin king Shane Warne | india-vs-australia-2017 | Hindustan Times
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Yasir Shah has a challenger in Kuldeep Yadav, says spin king Shane Warne

Shane Warne, who has been impressed by the performances of 22-year-old Indian cricket team Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, has said that he has the potential to be the best leg spinner in the world and challenge Pakistan wristspinner Yasir Shah

india vs australia 2017 Updated: Oct 02, 2017 16:21 IST
HT Correspondent
Kuldeep Yadav has had a great start to his international career after he picked up a hat-trick in the Kolkata ODI against Australia.
Kuldeep Yadav has had a great start to his international career after he picked up a hat-trick in the Kolkata ODI against Australia.(AFP)

Until a year back, Kuldeep Yadav had been grinding it out in domestic competitions, picking up a bagful of wickets in almost every tournament and yet failing to impress the selectors enough to earn a national call-up. And, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja bowling in tandem and contributing with the bat lower down the order, things weren’t easy for Kuldeep.

While the selectors now seem to be convinced with the abilities of the 22-year-old, Kuldeep also seems to have impressed quite a few former legends of the game, including Australian great Shane Warne.

On Sunday, after India romped home to a seven-wicket victory over Australia to seal the series 4-1, Warne tweeted, “If young Kuldeep remains patient when he’s bowling in all forms then he could challenge Yasir as the best leg spinner in the world & quickly.” Kuldeep earned his debut in all formats of the game this year and has had pretty impressive numbers so far.

He’s played two Tests and an equal number of T20Is besides featuring in 11 ODIs, picking up nine, three and 18 wickets, respectively.

Kuldeep replied to Warne on the social media platform, stating that he would keep his (Warne’s) appreciation in mind and work accordingly. Warne replied, “My pleasure mate, keep up the great work & wear that Number 23 with pride young man !!! #patience #spintowin.”

The player Warne compared him to --- Yasir Shah --- has already earned a name for himself in the cricketing fraternity with 167 wickets. The bulk of those wickets have come in the longest format of the game with Shah just one shy of touching the 150-mark in Tests. Also, while Shah is 31, the Indian still has a lot of time on hand to try and challenge the numbers set by his predecessors.

Kuldeep had broken through the ranks during the 2014 under-19 World Cup, picking up 14 wickets to finish the tournament as India’s second-highest wicket-taker. Although the side led by Ishan Kishan failed to lift the trophy, it did enough to propel Kuldeep into limelight. He would soon be bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for $66,000, who didn’t want to risk losing out on an Indian Chinaman to be a part of the razzmatazz T20 league.