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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

India vs Australia: ‘Hard to read’ Kuldeep Yadav wins praise from Michael Clarke

Kuldeep Yadav, who made his international debut against Australia earlier this year, has won praise from Michael Clarke and Brad Hogg -- who have been impressed by the bowler’s variations and temperament.

india-vs-australia-2017 Updated: Sep 20, 2017 09:21 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Kuldeep Yadav picked up the crucial wickets of David Warner and Marcus Stoinis in Indian cricket team’s 26-run win over Australia in the rain-hit first ODI in Chennai.
Kuldeep Yadav picked up the crucial wickets of David Warner and Marcus Stoinis in Indian cricket team’s 26-run win over Australia in the rain-hit first ODI in Chennai. (AP)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) gave cricketers an identity beyond their country and state and created a whole genre of freelancers who hopped from one gravy train of a T20 league to another.

So, when Kuleep Yadav steps out on to the Eden on Thursday, he will also be coming home to where his franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders, play. Ditto Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav and Manish Pandey.

(Read | Steve Smith’s Australia cricket captaincy being challenged: Michael Clarke)

Pandey, Umesh Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav all joined KKR in 2014 and have gone on to be the team’s key players since. In that time, Kuldeep Yadav has also gone on to spin a success story for India.

Of the kind that has got former Australia skipper Michael Clarke excited.

(Read | Adam Zampa rues Australia’s loss of momentum in 1st ODI vs India cricket team)

“I am a huge fan of Kuldeep Yadav. I was impressed seeing him play a Test and was impressed again in Chennai. He is a wicket-taking bowler. His ability to spin the ball both ways makes him hard to read and for someone this young he has very good control, like Hoggy (Brad Hogg),” said Clarke, now a television commentator, here on Tuesday.

Good listener

To that Hogg added: “I spent two years with Kuldeep at KKR and I have seen that he is a very good listener. The one thing that he has significantly improved on is fitness. He listened to what the physio at KKR told him and it is showing now. I don’t know whether I should say this, but I think he will get to see a lot of him.”

(Read | Secret out! How Dean Jones plotted India’s 1987 Cricket World Cup 1-run loss vs Australia)

In his debut Test, Kuldeep Yadav took 4/68 and his victims were David Warner, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins. All of them could be playing at the Eden on Thursday.

In Chennai on Sunday, the wrist spinner took 2/33 in four overs, including the wicket of Warner whose dismissal he set up beautifully with a googly followed by one that spun away before getting the opener caught at the wicket with one that held its line. Together with Yuzvendra Chahal (3/16), he again exposed Australia’s long-standing problems with the turning ball in the sub-continent.

(Read | Virat Kohli has transformed MS Dhoni’s cricket career, says Sourav Ganguly)

Of the three times Warner faced KKR in IPL 2017, he was dismissed twice by spinners. At Eden, in April, that bowler was Kuldeep Yadav.

Bangladesh high

Clarke though didn’t want to make much of Warner’s supposed struggle against Kuldeep Yadav in particular, and spin in general.

(Read | Nathan Coulter-Nile eyes Test berth after blazing India vs Australia ODI return)

“It’s been just one game. He will find a way to score, he always does. He did well in Bangladesh,” said Clarke.

By Thursday, we will get to know. What we already know is that from being picked by KKR as an investment after the 2014 under-19 World Cup, Kuldeep Yadav has come a long way.

At Mumbai Indians before wearing a deep shade of purple, he was mainly a nets bowler. At Eden, where the spinner went under eight in three of the five IPL innings he bowled this term, on Thursday Kuldeep Yadav could end up being a marquee in blue.

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 09:16 IST

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