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Virat Kohli should have shared Man of the Match award, laments Kuldeep Yadav's coach

Arvind Sriram
6.34K   //    23 Sep 2017, 18:46 IST

Yadav became the first Indian spinner to take an ODI hat-trick.
Kuldeep Yadav picked up a hat-trick in the second ODI

What's the story?

Kuldeep Yadav may be weaving webs around the Australian batsmen in the ongoing 5-match ODI series, but his coach Kapil Pande is not a happy man.

Kapil was reportedly annoyed with the fact that Virat Kohli, the Man of the Match from the second ODI, did not share the award with the younger players on the side, including his ward Kuldeep.

“Kohli is a senior member of the team and he could have encouraged the junior players by sharing the honour,” Pande said to Deccan Chronicle. However, he was happy with Kuldeep's performances on a pacer-friendly wicket.

"The wicket (at the Eden Gardens) was new and only helping the pacers and on this wicket the hat-trick achiever’s performance was remarkable. Initially, Kuldeep’s bowling was not up to the mark. There was no proper line and length in his deliveries. I did bring this to his notice after the match when he called up and also advised him to concentrate only on proper line and length without worrying about the wickets. The wickets will come automatically.”

In case you didn't know...

Kohli scored a majestic 92 in the scorching Eden Gardens heat to lead India to a competitive 252, following which the Indian bowlers made merry. Kuldeep, who struggled initially, came into his own later in the match and became the first Indian spinner in ODIs to take a hat-trick when he picked up the wickets of Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins.

India eventually went on to win the match by 50 runs, subsequently taking a 2-0 lead in the series.

The heart of the matter

Kuldeep, in the process of picking up his hat-trick, broke multiple records. He became the first spinner in history to take a hat-trick against Australia and the seventh hat-trick hero overall.

Kohli, meanwhile, rebounded from a duck in the first ODI in fine fashion. He was unlucky to be dismissed in the 90s but he had done his job by then. Bhuvneshwar Kumar too was unplayable on the night and ended with figures of 3/9. While any of the three could have been named the Man of the Match, it was the Indian skipper who eventually took home the prize.

What's next?

India will look to seal the series when they square off against the visitors in the Holkar Stadium in Indore. Kuldeep has been in sensational form thus far and will look to continue that against an Aussie batting line-up that has looked simply clueless against the Indian spinners.

Author's take

While Kuldeep did perform admirably in the match, it was Kohli who took India to their eventual total in the first place and he deserved the Man of the Match award. It is not really an award that can be shared and hence Pande's words don't seem to make a lot of sense. A case though could be made for Bhuvneshwar Kumar winning the award as he was responsible for Australia's top order collapse.

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Arvind Sriram
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