What’s the story?
Kapil Pandey, the coach of India’s latest spin bowling sensation Kuldeep Yadav, believes that India would have easily got the better of the Australian side in the ongoing series had the left-arm spin bowler featured in the line-up alongside Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja earlier than the fourth Test.
The Kanpur-based coach told Mid-day that when the youngster was warming the benches during the initial matches of the series, he had kept Kuldeep’s spirits high. Pandey said, “He was a bit disappointed but I told him he would have his day. It has finally happened.”
He also added, “Bowling in tandem with R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the earlier Tests, India would have overpowered the Aussies easily.”
In case you didn’t know…
As revealed by Kuldeep in an interview a year back, he had never wanted to be a spinner. In fact, when he first walked into Pandey’s academy as a 13-year-old, he harboured dreams of emulating Pakistani legend Wasim Akram. However, the coach advised him to become a spinner as he did not have the physique of a fast bowler.
Incidentally, the first ball Kuldeep bowled in the nets was a chinaman which left Pandey both impressed and surprised at the same time. He encouraged the youngster to stick to it and that initial advice has finally paid the dividends.
The heart of the matter
Kuldeep’s inspiring spell in the post-lunch session on Day One of the ongoing Test match against Australia has earned him several plaudits. The 22-year-old debutant, who became India’s first ever chinaman bowler in Test cricket, picked up three crucial wickets in the 2nd session of the Day’s play.
It was his guile that saw the Aussies crumble from 144 for 1 to 300 all out. In the end, he finished with four wickets in his kitty, on a day when both Ashwin and the number one Test bowler, Jadeja failed to extract any spin from the wicket.
With the series tied at 1-1 and India holding the cards in the final Test match, it would be interesting as to how things unfold over the next few days. It goes without saying that Kuldeep would be vital to India’s plans when Australia come out to bat again.
Evidently, Kuldeep’s introduction has brought a breath of fresh air into the jaded spin bowling attack. India did miss a fifth bowler in the last Test match in Ranchi when they failed to dismantle the Australian batting line-up and had Kuldeep featured, things might have been different.