3 reasons why Kuldeep Yadav will become one of the best Indian spinners of all time
Kuldeep Yadav rose to prominence during the 2014 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He took a hattrick against Scotland in a group fixture at Dubai, thereby becoming the first ever Indian to take a hattrick in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup history. Kuldeep, who began his IPL career with Mumbai Indians in 2012, made his IPL debut for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2016 edition.
His exploits in the 2017 IPL - 16 wickets in 12 matches - earned him a spot in the Indian Cricket team for the ODI series against the West Indies. Subsequently, Kuldeep made his ODI debut against the Caribbeans in June 2017. Since then, there has been no looking back for the lad from Uttar Pradesh.
#1) Consistent across the various formats and pitch conditions
In his debut series against the West Indies, Kuldeep took eight wickets in five matches at an economy of 4.05. During the ODI series against Australia at home, in September last year, he became only the third Indian cricketer ever to take a hattrick in the ODIs. He achieved this feat against the five-time World Champions at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Kuldeep was simply the best spinner for the Men in Blue in ODIs last year with 22 wickets in 14 matches at an economy of just 4.88.
He started off 2018 on a high with a scintillating display of spin against South Africa. Confronting the Proteas away from home, the 23-year-old slow left-arm chinaman bowler, was sensational for Team India during their South Africa tour earlier this year, picking up a whopping 17 wickets during the 6 match ODI series (India won 5-1).
He combined very well with Chahal to torment the Proteas batting line-up. In the recently concluded T20I series against England, he scalped 5 wickets in 2 matches. During the first T20 at Manchester, he finished with the figures of 5/24 in four overs and ensured India started the tour on a resounding note.
Kuldeep once again rattled the English batting in the first ODI at Trent Bridge. He finished with the figures of 6/25 in 10 overs, restricting England well within the expected score. It was the best figure by any spinner in the ODIs in England and the fourth best figure for India in ODIs.
Kuldeep, who made his Test debut against Australia in March 2017, has played just two Test matches for India and has nine wickets to his name. Kuldeep's performance across the various formats of the game and pitch conditions is a perfect example of the upcoming cricketer's excellence with the ball. Not just on spinner-friendly Indian tracks, he has proved his worth on the tough South African and English pitches so far in his career.