Team India’s left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has stated that he will cherish his five-wicket haul against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday whenever he retires.
Kuldeep claimed 5/25 in eight overs as the Men in Blue thumped Pakistan by 228 runs in the Super 4 match on Monday. India resumed their innings at 147/2 on the reserve day. Tons from Virat Kohli (122* off 94 balls) and KL Rahul (111* off 106) lifted India to 356/2 as the duo featured in an unbroken third-wicket stand of 233.
Kuldeep then ran through Pakistan’s batting line-up as Babar Azam and co. folded up for 128 in 32 overs. At a post-match press conference, the 28-year-old shared his thoughts on claiming a five-wicket haul against Pakistan.
“When you pick up five wickets against a big team, it really boosts your morale. Whenever I retire, I will always cherish this five-fer against Pakistan,” he commented.
The spinner added that he has been working hard on bringing more aggression in his bowling rhythm and the same is paying dividends.
“I have been playing regularly for the past one and half years after my knee surgery. My run-up has gone a bit straight. There is more aggression in my bowling rhythm, the approach to the crease is good, and perhaps earlier my bowling hand used to fall a lot, it’s under control now and it is now facing more towards the batsman,” Kuldeep elaborated.
“At the same time, I have not lost my spin and drift, it is still there and my pace has also gone up. That’s why it is helping me. For some time now, I have only been thinking about hitting those good lengths consistently, it gives you more chances of taking wickets,” he explained.
On Monday, Kuldeep cleaned up Fakhar Zaman for 27 before adding the scalps of Agha Salman, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Faheem Ashraf.
“Post-surgery was very frustrating for me” – Kuldeep Yadav
While Kuldeep seems to be enjoying his bowling in the current phase, he has had his share of injury setbacks. He was out for five months following knee surgery and admitted that things were rather challenging as he looked to make a comeback.
“Post-surgery was very frustrating for me. I was out for five months. It has not happened overnight. It took me some time to get it right. Many people had suggested it but I also never wanted to lose my zip, dip and drift. After the surgery when I completed my rehab for three months, then I realized that I must work on it,” he said.
“One and a half years have been amazing for me. I have been bowling well. I don’t think too much about the playing XI, I am just enjoying my bowling,” Kuldeep added.
The 28-year-old spinner has an impressive one-day record. In 87 matches, he has claimed 146 wickets at an average of 26.04 and an economy rate of 5.12.