Kuldeep Yadav became the first Chinaman bowler to represent the Indian men’s cricket team during the fourth test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2017 at Dharamsala. Australian opening batsman David Warner became his first victim in international cricket.
Here are 10 things you need to know about India’s latest Test sensation.
#1 Yadav was born on December 14, 1994, in a small village in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.
#2 Son of a brick kiln owner, Yadav's family shifted from their native village in Unnao to Kanpur when Kuldeep was fairly young so that he could pursue his cricketing dreams.
#3 He is a left-arm chinaman bowler, the first of such kind that India has produced in its 82-year long Test history. For some strange reason, there have been a plethora of left-arm orthodox spinners in the game’s history but very few who bowl unorthodox, with Brad Hogg, Paul Adams and Michael Bevan being the only prominent ones that come to mind.
#4 He actually started out as a fast bowler when he joined a cricket academy in Kanpur, but was persuaded by his coach, Kapil Pandey, to switch to left-arm unorthodox. Kuldeep found it difficult initially, even admitting to crying once, but he soon realised that he was blessed with the ability to bowl spin and stuck it out, and he is now reaping the rewards.
#5 He was first picked in the Indian Under-19 team as a 17-year old in April 2012, but missed out on selection for the Under-19 World Cup, which India eventually went on to win under the leadership of Unmukt Chand, later that year.
#6 Come the 2014 Under-19 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), however, he had become an integral part of the team having performed consistently over the last 18 months, and was considered one of the senior players of the team. His performances in the World Cup backed up his standing in the team, as he picked 14 wickets from 6 games, including a hat-trick against Scotland, to finish the tournament as the 3rd highest wicket-taker.
#7 He was a part of the Mumbai Indians squad during the 2012 IPL season but didn’t get to feature in even a single game. He wouldn’t have minded one bit, though, as he got an opportunity to bowl to Sachin Tendulkar in the nets and even confounded the Little Master with a wrong’ un once.
#8 Despite showing promise for MI, albeit in the nets, they chose to not renew their interest in the Uttar Pradesh spinner. Kolkata Knight Riders, gladly, pounced on the opportunity, stumping up $66,000 for him during the last IPL auction.
#9 Yadav rewarded the IPL franchise for the faith they showed in him by taking 6 wickets from 5 games in the recent CLT20, thereby playing a crucial role in KKR’s progress to the final.
#10 His CLT20 showing also earned him a surprise call-up to the Indian squad for the ongoing ODI series against West Indies, despite not having played a single First-Class or List A game for his state Uttar Pradesh.