India spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal bowled together after two years in the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday (July 18) and contributed well to the team’s 7-wicket victory in the three-match ODI series opener at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Both Yadav and Chahal’s form have dipped over the past few months, leading them to be in and out of the Indian cricket team in recent times.
However, the two spinners got to play together in the first ODI and showed some sign of form, as they both picked up two wickets each to help India beat Sri Lanka in the first ODI to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series on Sunday.
After the game, Kuldeep has expressed his happiness at being able to return to bowl alongside Chahal after a long time and find his rhythm back, saying they share a good bowling partnership and are comfortable with each other that orders well for the Indian team.
Kuldeep said at a virtual post-match press conference: “Very happy that after a long time Chahal and I got to play together for the team. We are comfortable with each other and we back each other. We both share inputs on the field whenever it is required, the bonding is nice between us both. We performed well together, we played after a long time and it augurs well for the side.”
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The spinner further added, “I was trying to vary my pace as the wicket was dry in the first innings. The wicket offered some assistance for the spinners, I was varying my pace depending on the batsmen. Very happy with the way team performed in this match.”
Kuldeep also revealed how the head coach Rahul Dravid helped him gain confidence and motivation before the first ODI.
He said, “Nervousness is always there when you step out to the field. Rahul (Dravid) Sir backed me and he motivated me. We talked a lot and he told me to enjoy my bowling and not worry about the result. I am happy that I performed well. Obviously, you are nervous when you play cricket after a long time, the way the team performed, I am very happy with it.”
He signed off by saying, “We have come to play cricket here. We are lucky that we are getting to play cricket. There are many youngsters in the side, we are not worried about what anyone is saying. We are just here to enjoy our cricket. It is difficult to stay in bubbles, when you are not playing there are doubts that can creep in. It's sport at the end of the day, someone gets the chance and someone doesn't.”
(With ANI Inputs)