Top 5 bowling performances in the Indian home season of 2016-17
When Lokesh Rahul guided the ball through the gap in the midwicket region to secure India’s overwhelming win over Australia, the long home season finally came to an end – the season which stamped India’s domination at home.
It all began with the 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand. This was followed up by an equally incredible series against England as Virat Kohli and Co. won the five-match series 4-0. The one-off Test match against Bangladesh also saw similar results with India earning a thumping win.
The onus was on Australia to possibly do some damage. While many had written the inexperienced side off, they did, in fact, put up a strong fight. India suffered their only defeat in this season to the Aussies in Pune. However, they came back strongly to regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, winning the four-match series 2-1.
As much as the credit goes to the batsman, it was the bowlers who held the cards throughout the season. It was their guile and skill that helped India pick up the wickets and win 10 Test matches out of 13.
Here, we take a look at five of the best bowling performances in this home season.
#5 Kuldeep Yadav (4-68, India vs Australia, 4th Test match 1st innings)
It was the sheer impact that Kuldeep Yadav’s brilliant spell had on Day One, of the fourth and final Test match against Australia that puts him on this list. Australia were cruising at lunch, courtesy of some brilliant batting by Steve Smith and David Warner. They looked set for a big total that would shed any hopes of India winning the series. But debutant Kuldeep had other ideas.
The left-arm wrist spinner surprised Warner with a delivery that spun and bounced as Ajinkya Rahane completed a regulation catch at first slip to deal Australia the first blow. The next wicket was a typical chinaman dismissal. After having troubled Peter Handscomb with a variety of deliveries, this one pitched on off and went through bat and pad to dislodge the bails.
Kuldeep’s third scalp was another beauty. Glenn Maxwell had just hit him for a six over long on but the youngster was not flustered. Instead, he bowled a brilliant googly which pitched on middle and leg, and spun away from the right-hander, past the defensive prod, and into the stumps.
The brilliant spell paved the way for India’s win in the decider. Kuldeep ended with a first innings haul of 4 for 68 when he added Pat Cummins’ wicket later in the day.