Kuldeep Yadav Addresses Ball Comparisons in Stunning Win Over England
Kuldeep Yadav addresses comparisons between his dismissals of Jos Buttler and Babar Azam and discusses India’s strategy in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup.
Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm wrist-spinner, played a pivotal role in India’s remarkable 100-run victory over England during the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup, continuing India’s unbeaten run in the tournament. Kuldeep produced an astounding delivery that left both fans and the 46,000-strong crowd at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium awestruck.
On the first ball of the 16th over, Kuldeep bowled a delivery outside the off-stump with a flatter trajectory, inducing sharp turn that bewildered England captain Jos Buttler and cleanly disturbed his stumps.
The manner in which Kuldeep dismissed Buttler drew immediate comparisons to his delivery that dismissed Pakistan captain Babar Azam in a similar fashion in 2019. However, Kuldeep believes that the two deliveries were quite similar.
“Both the balls were good. I think both the balls were the same. There were no changes. The quality is important, and the quality of the players is also very important. They were very important wickets, and the team won – that is more important,” he stated during the post-match press conference.
This match marked India’s first experience of bowling under lights in the competition. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami bowled brilliant spells of 3-32 and 4-22, respectively, laying the foundation for England’s dismissal for 129.
Kuldeep, who claimed two wickets for 24 runs, explained that his role was to build on the excellent work done by Shami and Bumrah. For Kuldeep, this moment marked a turnaround, considering he had conceded 72 runs against England in the 2019 World Cup, which led to a downward spiral in his career. He has since made a successful comeback as a crucial part of India’s middle-over attack.
“I mean, it is good if we get the batting first. But if we get a good score, it would have been more fun. The score was good at 230 and the wicket was difficult. The way Rohit (Sharma) batted and gave a good respectable total of 230, I was hoping that if we get two wickets in powerplay, we will be in the game.”
“The way Shami and Jasprit bowled, the first spell, they got two wickets in powerplay and we were back in the game. My job was simple, to bowl at a good length. It was spinning. I used the crease well. The result was good. I know my hometown conditions very well. The wicket spins, and when you bowl on seam, it spins better. I was trying to bowl the ball on a good length and use the crease well.”
Kuldeep mentioned that dew can be a challenge when bowling under lights, but he credited his consistent game time in ODIs this year for helping him prepare to perform well in the second innings.
“This full year I have played one day matches and bowled at night. I have played in Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. I have always been prepared. I have played more one day cricket this year. There is no big change in bowling at night.”
He clarified that dew is a factor but expressed his readiness to bowl at any time, noting that if the batters put up a substantial score, it makes a bowler’s job somewhat easier.
In India’s total of 229/9 on a challenging pitch, Kuldeep contributed 21 runs with Jasprit Bumrah for the ninth wicket. The tail-enders were given good batting practice in anticipation of their contributions with the bat, particularly in the absence of Hardik Pandya.
“I am working hard on my batting, I am contributing to the team, I contribute 10-15 runs, it helps the team. The last 25-odd run partnership helped us to reach a good target of 230. I felt that we can defend it. It’s not like I’m only batting in matches. I’m also working on my batting in practice.”
“Sometimes I score, sometimes maybe it doesn’t hit the bat. I get out, we get the last 3-4 overs to bat. Sometimes you don’t get a single, you get a few dots. You don’t think like a batsman. If you get 2 dot balls, you get under pressure. But yes, we are working on batting. Hopefully, in the future, we will make 15-20 runs instead of 10,” concluded Kuldeep.