Kuldeep Yadav’s five-wicket haul bamboozles South Africa as he becomes 1st Indian spinner to achieve this record

Cricket News: In a spell of magical bowling, India's ace left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav spun a web around South Africa, claiming a career-best five wickets. This historic feat marked him as the first Indian spinner to achieve two five-wicket hauls in T20Is.

Sarah Andrew
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Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav has been India’s premier spinner for the last year and especially in the 50-over format. Kuldeep’s prowess in the T20 had taken a back seat as the focus was primarily on the 50-over World Cup but now as the tournament has come to an end, Kuldeep Yadav is again in contention for the T20 World that will take place in June next year.

Kuldeep Yadav was recalled for the South Africa series as he came back into the shortest format with a bang. He scalped a fifer in the third and final T20I against South Africa and led India to a 106-run victory. Before this match, there was scathing criticism over the selection of the left-arm leggie as he was preferred over Ravi Bishnoi to perform quite well in the T20I series against Australia.

The team management preferred Kuldeep over the young Bishnoi. He did not let them down as he took five wickets in the 3rd ODI, reclaiming his spot in the T20I squad. It is the second five-wicket haul in T20Is and with which he got his name etched in a special list of bowlers.  Kuldeep Yadav became the only second Indian bowler after Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the first Indian spinner to pick two five-wicket hauls in T20I cricket.


Kuldeep Yadav replicated his 2018 heroics

Kuldeep made his name in international cricket from South Africa only in 2018 when he and Yuzvendra Chahal with their spin duo bamboozled the Proteas in the limited overs. The popular term ‘Kulcha’ became the portmanteau of the Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

Kuldeep was also happy with how the ball spun and assisted the spinners as South Africa wickets are known to face the spin and bounce. In the post-match show with the broadcaster, he said, “To be very honest, the wickets are very good for the spinners. The good thing about these wickets is that the ball comes very quickly after pitching. So, sometimes you have to change your variations and if you get it right then it is very difficult to pick.”

He further added, “In 2018, I was very new and after that, a couple of years I struggled with my injury, and post-surgery I came back and made a few changes in my bowling, especially in my run-up. Trying to be more aggressive and just trying to bowl much straighter and focussing on length.”

“Starting was difficult. The first 7 to 10 days were tough. Whenever I woke up, the thought of losing the World Cup final was haunting me. But life changes and moves on. I got an opportunity to play in South Africa, I last played here in 2018 so, I knew the conditions well,” he reiterated.

Kuldeep Yadav SA vs IND