Kuldeep Yadav refuses Rohit Sharma's advice, decision turns to gold immediately | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Kuldeep Yadav refuses to take Rohit Sharma's advice, decision turns to gold immediately as India rewarded with wicket

Feb 26, 2024 06:26 AM IST

The dismissal of Zak Crawley happened with Kuldeep believing in his own ploy, even if that meant defying his captain Rohit Sharma's advice.

Ravichandran Ashwin, with yet another five-wicket-haul, may have emerged as India's star of the day with ball, but Kuldeep Yadav wasn't too far behind. Kuldeep's 4/22 accompanied Ashwin's 5/51 brilliantly, so much as that after the veteran India off-spinner picked up three early wickets, Kuldeep entered the fray, first dismissing the set Zak Crawley and then England captain Ben Stokes. Crawley's wicket was the turning point for India as Kuldeep broke through the gate of the England opener, who was looking to unleash having scored a half-century.

Kuldeep Yadav and Rohit Sharma celebrate Zak Crawley's wicket. (AP)
Kuldeep Yadav and Rohit Sharma celebrate Zak Crawley's wicket. (AP)

And to think of it, it almost wouldn't have happened had it not been for Kuldeep believing in his ploy, even if that meant defying his captain Rohit Sharma's advice. As Crawley took strike, Rohit instructed Kuldeep that it might be better off if he brought the fielder in, but the wrist-spinner felt having him on the fence would be a better idea. Rohit agreed and went back to take his position at first slip.

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And on the very next ball, the decision turned out to be gold as Crawley, trying to go for a boundary through that very region, fell for the turn and had his stumps disturbed. Dinesh Karthik on air confirmed the conversation that took place between the two and got recorded on the stump mic.

"Rohit asked whether Kuldeep wanted the gap open there. Kuldeep said no, let there be a gap, let there be cover, but just push the mid-off back. And the next ball, Crawley looking to play towards cover, was bowled neck and crop," DK said while doing commentary.

While Ashwin is the one with three wickets, Kuldeep has bowled like a million dollars and clearly been the best Indian bowler on show today. After spending almost an hour giving Dhruv Jurel great company during India's first innings, Kuldeep made the ball talk, leaving Crawley bamboozled. And that wasn't it. A few overs later, Kuldeep added the wicket of England captain Ben Stokes in his kitty as England took tea at 120/5, leading India by 166 runs.

Kuldeep added two more post lunch as he sent back Tom Hartley and Ollie Robinson. As England looked for quick runs, Kuldeep was always one step ahead of them as he inflicted further damage. Kuldeep had Hartley out caught by Sarfaraz Khan at mid-on and then trapped Ollie Robinson out LBW. He finished with 4/22 and in the company of Ashwin's 35th five-wicket-haul, bundled England out for 145. In reply, India, needing 192 to win and seal the series, knocked off 40 runs with Rohit and Yashasvi Jaiswal getting off to a brisk start.

Kuldeep and Rohit's Tom and Jerry equation

Everytime Kuldeep and Rohit involved in something – be it a DRS or just discussing tactics, amusement is guaranteed. Rohit, on most occasion, doesn't let go an opportunity to pull his teammate' leg. They were playing cat and mouse during the 2023 World Cup and most recently during the second Test in Visakhapatnam, where the India captain sarcastically clapped at Kuldeep after the leg-spinner almost cost India a review.

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