Kuldeep Yadav's time is now

Kuldeep Yadav claimed his 150th ODI wicket.

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Kuldeep Yadav
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Kuldeep Yadav (Photo Source: Twitter)

In Kuldeep Yadav’s 88th ODI on Tuesday at the R Premadasa in Colombo, he dismissed Sri Lanka’s Matheesha Pathirana bowled between his legs to claim his 150th ODI wicket. 

Well, Pathirana just had no clue how to play that tossed-up delivery, and that’s what Kuldeep Yadav strives for: make simple things magical. 

Kuldeep Yadav is a wizard weaving magic with his wrist-spin after his technical tweaks, and every time he floats one slightly quicker these days, the batters just seem to have no idea how to play it.

The 28-year-old’s skill with the white ball has always been formidable, but the most astonishing part about his bowling has been his fearless approach, mental fortitude to fight after getting hit all over the park and his willingness to keep getting better with time.  

Variations are a prominent force in Kuldeep’s arsenal. They have been on full display for years, and the same was on show in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023. The Kanpur-born star started slow but was extremely unlucky against Nepal. He bowled with a lot of venom, but unfortunately went wicket-less in his ten-over spell.

Coming to the Pakistan game, Kuldeep Yadav stole all the limelight after magnificent centuries from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. Kuldeep Yadav picked up Fakhar Zaman and started to spin a web around Pakistan. He picked Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf to complete his second ODI fifer. 

India had already played for two consecutive days after the Pakistan game entered the reserve day. This was a litmus test of recovery, fitness, and match preparation. Rohit Sharma called it right at the toss and opted to bat first. After Virat Kohli, the skipper became the second fastest to breach the 10,000-run mark in ODI.

The surface started to misbehave once the ball got old, and Dunith Wellalage and Charith Asalanka claimed nine wickets among them to flatten India to just 213. Chasing a decent total under challenging conditions, Sri Lanka were in trouble before even spin was introduced. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj made the new ball talk and pegged Sri Lanka back.

Once Rohit Sharma introduced Kuldeep Yadav, there was no looking back as the spinner bagged the in-form Sadeera Samarawickrama and first-innings hero Charith Asalanka. He then cleaned up the Lankan tail to help India qualify for the finals of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023. 

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