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India vs Australia: Kuldeep Yadav now rivalling Rashid Khan in T20I consistency

Ind vs Aus: Kuldeep was at his best again in the 1st T20I against Australia in Brisbane as he picked up 2 wickets and gave away only 16 runs in his 4 overs.

cricket Updated: Nov 21, 2018 16:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
1st T20,Ind vs Aus,India vs Australia
Kuldeep Yadav celebrates after picking up a wicket.(Getty Images)

Bowlers have long been judged in cricket on their ability to pick wickets. The right measure of a bowler’s consistency in picking wickets is given by his strike-rate. Ever since the advent of T20 cricket though, the focus has shifted as much to a bowler’s economy.

Four miserly overs in a T20 match can change the fortunes of a team and that is why bowlers are now being seen through the prism of their economy. But if a bowler combined good economy with great wicket taking ability, then he becomes an indispensible asset for any team. Young left arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav is doing just that for the Indian team, ever since making his T20I debut in July 2017.

Kuldeep was at his best again in the 1st T20I against Australia in Brisbane as he picked up 2 wickets and gave away only 24 runs in his 4 overs. As a result of this spell he now has 31 wickets to his name in 15 T20Is. If you look at bowlers in T20 cricket since 2017, Kuldeep ranks 5th currently in terms of number of wickets taken. Shadab Khan (42 wickets from 29 matches) and Yuzvendra Chahal (41 wickets from 24 wickets) are the leaders in this regard.

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But a look at the strike rate of all these bowlers reveal a different picture. For all bowlers who have picked up 20 wickets or more in this period, Kuldeep’s strike-rate of 10.7 is second only to Afghan talisman Rashid Khan, who picks a wicket every 10 deliveries. The Indian is the only other bowler who takes less than 11 deliveries per wicket in international T20s.

Given the fact that Rashid Khan has played several of his T20I matches against associate nations, Kuldeep’s record becomes even more special as he has achieved these numbers against the best in the world.

His ability to fox the batsmen both in the air as well as after pitching the ball makes him one of the best exponents of wrist spin bowling in the world currently and Indian captain Virat Kohli must be really happy to have him in his team ahead of big international tournaments.

First Published: Nov 21, 2018 15:12 IST