India wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav ran through the England batting line-up in the first T20I at Old Trafford, Manchester on Tuesday (July 3). Playing his first game on English soil, Kuldeep claimed a five-wicket haul to script a thumping 8-wicket win for India.
He bowled Hales behind his legs and Morgan was caught in the deep while the duo of Root and Bairstow were stumped in successive deliveries. Buttler, who was Kuldeep’s last victim, was caught in the outfield while trying to hit out.
The left-arm spinner finished with bowling figures of 5/24 in his 4 overs. It was the second-best bowling performance by an Indian in a T20I game after Yuzvendra Chahal’s 6/25 against England in 2017.
It is learnt that Kuldeep had made a few adjustments to his bowling prior to the all-important tour. The 23-year-old had worked on his flight and bounce on the advice of his coach, Kapil Pandey.
Speaking to Sportstar on Wednesday (July 4), Kuldeep’s mentor Pandey said: “Before he left, he played a practice match at the Rovers Ground here [in Kanpur] comprising all my students where he picked six wickets. The idea of the match was to ensure that he generates decent flight with a certain height and bounce.”
"I also told him to slow down a bit before release. You may have noticed that the ball, where he got Joe Root stumped, almost reached Dhoni’s chest. The wickets are generally hard, similar to Australia, and he got the bounce I was looking for,” he added.
That practice match has certainly done a world of good for Kuldeep’s confidence.
“It was 42 degrees and I had told my boys to hit him out of the park so that he could learn how to function in the situation. I also called Faiz Ahmed [Railways] to bat to Kuldeep. Faiz is also an old student of mine and he knew all of Kuldeep’s tricks. But he still got out to him. It was a tough session,” Pandey stated.
“He needs to maintain the spin, keep working on the flight and continue the spot-bowling. How long can a batsman hold a flipper, googly and the rest of the stock balls? Eventually, he will charge aiming for runs,” he elaborated.
Pandey also feels Kuldeep would succeed in the traditional format if given a chance.
“He did well in the Tests he played so far. He got the Australian top-order out, which included David Warner, on his debut in Dharamsala,” he concluded.