Debates about whether Kuldeep Yadav would get a chance to play in the series were finally put to rest as he was included in India’s playing XI for the 2nd Test against England in Chennai. The left-arm spinner had to wait for over two years to get a chance to feature in the playing XI despite being part of the squad during the Border-Gavaskar trophy Down Under.
In a post-match interview alongside debutant Axar Patel, Kuldeep admitted that he felt the jitters as he got his chance to play a Test after two long years.
"I was nervous. No matter how much you practice in the nets, there's a different pressure when you bowl in a real match situation," Kuldeep said (Roughly translated from Hindi).
Kuldeep Yadav also mentioned how Ravichandran Ashwin helped him strategize and plan throughout. He praised the senior off-spinner and said his presence gave both him and Axar Patel a lot of support during the course of the match.
"We [Ashwin and himself] had been planning for this series since Australia, and he has been a major source of support for both Axar and me," Kuldeep added.
Kuldeep Yadav struggles to make a mark
When Kuldeep Yadav finally got his opportunity in the 2nd Test against England, he struggled to assert himself. The chainman only bowled 6 overs in the first innings and wasn't amongst the wickets. He clearly wasn't Virat Kohli's go-to bowler, as the captain preferred the duo of Axar Patel and R Ashwin to put pressure on the visitors.
His bad fortune extended in the 2nd innings as he had to wait until the 43rd over to bowl and then saw Mohammed Siraj drop a sitter off his bowling to dismiss Joe Root. Even though Kuldeep bagged two wickets, he managed to bowl only 6.2 overs in the 2nd innings, whereas Ashwin and Axar bowled 18 and 21 overs respectively.