Kuldeep Yadav has been recently picked in the Indian Test squad for the first three matches against England and here is a piece explaining what he brings to the table.
Kuldeep Yadav first made a name for himself by taking a hat trick in the under 19s. He was then bagged by the Kolkata Knight Riders and remained in the reserves.
As the team had great spinners like Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla and Brad Hogg, it was obvious that Kuldeep did not get a game for 2 years. But spending time in the company of some of the greats of the game helped his game enormously.
He spent time with legendary Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram and tried to pick his brains around how to go about things. He also had Brad Hogg who was a well known chinaman bowler and he could not have got a better person to take tips from.
He also had leg spinner Piyush Chawla and mystery spinner Sunil Narine. Kuldeep rose through the ranks as Brad hogg retired/released. Kuldeep got a few games in the 2016 season of the IPL.
After India failed in the Champions Trophy Virat Kohli picked Kuldeep and Chahal in the ODI team to take wickets in the middle overs. As it turned out, the plan worked perfectly and the two spinners performed exceptionally well at home.
They were performing well but expectedly so. The biggest impact they created was in the ODI series against South Africa when the duo rattle the South African batting line up. The batters did not have a clue and failed to pick him time and again.
This helped him become a vital cog in the team gradually. He became India’s go to bowler after his rich dividends in the limited-overs leg.
Virat Kohli and the Indian team management was so impressed by Kuldeep that he batted for picking him and fellow spinner Chahal in the Test squad.
“These two wrist spinners have been making the difference since they have come in. They did it in South Africa in the middle overs. They remain as our key weapons. Anything is possible with the selections for Tests and there might be a few surprises.
“Kuldeep is making a strong case for himself and so is Chahal. And looking at the way, the English batsmen have struggled against them, we might be tempted to do it. But the focus now is winning on the next two games,” Kohli said.
Kuldeep Yadav picked up his career best ODI figures of 10-25-6. These are also the fourth best figures for an Indian bowler in ODIs.
The previous time India toured England, Ashwin and Jadeja could not create a great impact in conditions that are not conducive to spin bowling Leg spinners always have an advantage as they can extract more out of the surface.
It would be very interesting to see how Kuldeep fares in England. If we can become a hit in the five-match Test series, the young spinner can make the Test spot his own.