In the Durban, it was the night not only for batsmen but spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who were referred to as the “difference makers” by captain Kohli. The performance of the spinner duo also got the attention of the South Africans, with Faf du Plessis stating that his team is going to have a session to better handle these two in the subsequent games.
India has not always inclined much towards bowlers and the history also shows that batting has been the focus of the Men in Blue, but ever since the Sri Lanka series, we are witnessing an ideological shift. Now wrist spin is seen as the strength of Indian bowlers. However, it is easy to put the trust in spinners when they are performing on the subcontinent pitches. What about the surfaces that are less suited for spins? Yesterday night Kohli made a pragmatic call to trust spinners on the Durban pitch.
As the fate would have it, he was rewarded for going by his guts and called spinners Yadav and Chahal on not so friendly Durban pitch. Kuldeep Yadav grabbed the opportunity with both hands and came out as a winner with his 3 for 34 off 10 overs. Chahal also spun his way for a 2 for 45 runs. It was their performance in Durban which led India to a massive win.
During the game, there was a time when the partnership between Du Plessis and Morris seem to take South Africa ahead to a score of 290 or so, but Kuldeep put the end to this partnership taking the wicket of Morris when the two Kangaroos already had a partnership of 74 runs between them.
Speaking on the instance, Yadav said, “the wind carried the ball over the last time. I wanted him to play exactly that shot (the one that went for six) because the leg-side boundary was shorter. I bowled a topspinner. I was looking for a top edge if he went for the shorter boundary at midwicket. It was a good ball, but he played a good shot.
He added, “There was a partnership going on. Du Plessis and Morris were playing well. If Morris had batted on for a few more overs, they could have reached 290 or even 300. At that time we needed a wicket. I took the chance. I always think if I try to bowl to contain I will concede more runs.”
For a young player with not much experience, Yadav carried himself with a swagger like his captain, it will be interesting to see if he carries on with his wrist spin magic as Plessis said that his players will need a game or two to adapt to the nuisance of Kuldeep’s spin.