Left arm leg spinner Kuldeep Yadav was making a return to the ODI format after a gap of 6 months. His previous one-day game came against West Indies in February. Kuldeep got an opportunity in the playing XI and even as he returned wicketless, the left-arm spinner bowled a tidy spell, conceding only 36 runs in ten overs.
Sivaramakrishnan emphasizes the importance of MS Dhoni being behind the stumps for Kuldeep Yadav
But former India spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan believes that Kuldeep wanted to “protect himself,” while further adding that it would be harsh to blame him as he didn’t receive many opportunities in the past. Speaking about Kuldeep in detail in ‘School of Cricket’ on Sony SIX, Sivaramakrishnan also touched upon the difference in Kuldeep Yadav while playing with former captain MS Dhoni behind the wickets.
“Dhoni was brilliant. A keeper would make a lot of difference. If the batsman was playing on the back foot, a wicketkeeper would ask the bowler to bowl a lot fuller. Kuldeep was slower through his air, and the batsman was playing on the back foot, so he has got to make the batsman drive. Because the ball is coming slowly, it won’t be easy to drive.
“Wicketkeeper would be an ideal person to tell that. He should also be able to read the batsman. He can advise the bowler accordingly. Dhoni was not only a good reader of the game, but he was also a good reader of the batsman. He would advise Kuldeep and Chahal on what to bowl. But today, the situation was different. He was making a comeback, he wanted to protect himself. He wanted to play all three matches. So he just bowled a tidy spell. But I just hope he sticks to one line, whether he bowls a googly or leg breaks. Get the batsman by surprise,” said the former player.
Speaking of the game, India registered an emphatic 10-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the first ODI of the series in Harare. Chasing 190 runs to win, Shubman Gill (82*) and Shikhar Dhawan (81*) remained unbeaten as India reached the target with 19.1 overs remaining. The match saw the return of Deepak Chahar, who was impressed with his opening three wickets and picked the player of the match award; KL Rahul also made a comeback to the side after nearly six months, as he led the side to win.
• Kuldeep Yadav returned to the ODIs after 6 months.
• Sivaramakrishnan feels Kuldeep Yadav tried to protect himself.