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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Kuldeep Yadav, latest India spin sensation, revels at keeping batsmen guessing

With 23 wickets from 11 matches across all formats since his debut for Indian cricket team, chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who took 2/20 against Sri Lanka cricket team in the one-off T20 match, is growing in stature as a match winner for Virat Kohli

india-vs-sri-lanka-2017 Updated: Sep 07, 2017 10:47 IST
Indian cricket team’s Kuldeep Yadav (left) celebrates with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka cricket team's Dilshan Munaweera during their T20 match in Colombo on Wednesday.
Indian cricket team’s Kuldeep Yadav (left) celebrates with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka cricket team's Dilshan Munaweera during their T20 match in Colombo on Wednesday. (PTI)

Indian cricket team’s young chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav is delighted at the prospect of facing Australia and New Zealand in limited-overs series at home after another impressive effort in Sri Lanka. (SL vs IND T20 highlights | Scorecard)

Kuldeep Yadav has had a great six months. He made his Indian cricket team debut in March, in the fourth and final Test against Australia at Dharamsala.

The 22-year-old grabbed four wickets on the first day, which shook Steve Smith’s side and helped India win and clinch the series.

Kuldeep has become an expert of sorts at making a late entry and finishing on a high. On Wednesday, it was his brilliant 2/20 in four overs that pegged Sri Lanka back to 170, helping India win the one-off T20 tie by seven wickets, and sign off their tour in style.

The Uttar Pradesh spinner deals with a commodity that is rare and hard to master. But his temperament and confidence allied to skill have shone through. And the Indian team management is conscious not to expose him, holding Kuldeep back till the last.


In the Test series, he was included only in the final game in Pallekele, and he promptly grabbed five wickets to help bowl India to victory for a 3-0 sweep.

Yadav was also not played till the last two of the five ODIs. And the bowler, whose stock delivery turns like a leg-break to a right-hander, teamed up brilliantly with Yuzhvendra Chahal.

The chinaman took three wickets in the two ODIs conceding very little runs and keeping the batsmen guessing.

In the T20 too, Kuldeep Yadav gave away little.

Sri Lankan batsmen may know a lot about mystery bowlers, having dealt with the likes of Ajantha Mendis, but the series ended before they could come to grips with Kuldeep’s bowling.


In only his second T20 game, at the Premadasa Stadium, he bowled an incredible 11 dot balls (out of 24), five of them in one over to debutant Ashan Priyanjan. He conceded just one four and a six while taking two wickets.

Kuldeep was delighted he was getting to play thanks to India’s rotation policy focused on the 2019 World Cup.

“I got the chance in the last Test to perform well; in the ODIs I played the last two matches and performed well, and in the T20 as well.

“As a player you have to perform in every game. It’s a pressure game. Everyone has to contribute, especially when the captain and coach decide to rotate players. I am very happy with the policy.”

Teaming up with Yuzhvendra Chahal has been fruitful – they shared five wickets in the T20 -- though it is akin to fielding two leg-break bowlers.

Kuldeep Yadav said: “If two leg-spinners are playing, then there is more opportunity to take wickets... More chances come to take wickets if you bowl in partnerships, and it is also difficult for the batting side to score runs.”

India played one-off T20s in the West Indies and Sri Lanka, his first two games in the shortest format. Kuldeep Yadav is looking forward to the full T20 series against Australia --- three matches --- followed by New Zealand.

“If you play three or four games like a series, it is good for the team, also for the opposition. We’re looking forward to the next series (against Australia). We have three T20s against them as well as New Zealand. Very happy BCCI has decided to increase the number of T20s.”

Kuldeep Yadav is not worried batsmen may soon pick his deliveries.

“I don’t know what their plan (Sri Lankan batsmen) was, I am only focussing on my bowling and plans. For me just to focus on myself rather than what the opposition is thinking, keep working hard on what your strength is.”

And 23 wickets in 11 matches across formats can make confidence soar.

First Published: Sep 07, 2017 10:39 IST

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