During Australia’s tour to India in 2017, they got tips about encountering the wrist-spin by Sreedharan Sriram and Murugan Ashwin. In addition to this duo, Jiyas, the Keralite bowler astonished Steven Smith in the nets. This is an example of the potential of wrist-spinners.
The difference between Australia in 2017 and England team in 2018 is that England lacked a chinaman bowler. They didn’t welcome any suggestions to encounter wrist-spin as well. It would be good if they had guidance from the experts before the series to tackle the wrist-spinners who breached majority of Irish batsmen in the previous series. Though they were equipped with consistent batting line-up, they lacked awareness about spin bowlers in the arsenal of the visitors though the spin-duo worked to clinch the series by picking seven wickets in the second game against Ireland.
After the defeat of England in the first T20I, the captain Eoin Morgan said that “It [preparing for Kuldeep] is like any challenge – if you’re facing a guy who bowls 95mph, it’s very difficult to replicate [in the nets]. If you’re facing a guy who turns it both ways and disguises it well, it’s very difficult to replicate – because there is nobody else who bowls like that. So your preparation is a clear mind, you have a pretty clear plan, and you stick to it,”
“Kuldeep bowled well. We know he can… (and) we know we can play him better than that. So between now and the next game, we need to assess our plans, make sure they’re the right ones, and stick with them,” he added.
The England captain said that Kuldeep Yadav played well but he felt that England would have encountered him better. Kuldeep bowled with different wavelength for each of his victims Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, and Eoin Morgan.
Alex Hales played 15 balls to score 8 runs and Buttler scored 51 runs off 37 balls inYadav’s spell and both were dismissed by them at the end of the day.
Kuldeep is proud by his outstanding performance and said that this is his career-best performance though this tour was his first one to the United Kingdom. He said that “Look it’s my first tour to England. I have never bowled to them, so maybe it was easy to bowl against them. Maybe after the next two games and after a while probably they will prepare very well for me. I am looking forward to the next matches,”
In this context, he remembered the words of his childhood coach Kapil Pandey who molded him to be a fearless bowler. He said “If the ball isn’t turning or drifting, then a spinner is not a spinner,” recalling his coach’s words.
He reminded that the coach said to not to fear about hits and don’t worry about the number of sixes the batsmen hit but concentrate on dismissing the batsman as earlier as possible by variations in the deliveries.
Kuldeep ended the first T20I by picking 5 wickets and conceding 24 runs. He stood as the first chinaman bowler to pick five wickets in a T20I.