Southampton: Kuldeep Yadav came into the ICC World Cup low on confidence and wickets after a modest season with Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL-12. Figure of 1/46 from 10 overs after his first World Cup game against South Africa would give the chinaman plenty of confidence ahead of important fixtures against Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan.
Yadav combined well with leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal once again to keep the South African middle-order in check as India restricted them to 227/9 after bowling first. The 2011 World Cup champions cruised to a six-wicket win with 15 balls to spare in their opening game.
“Definitely, the team got a good start. To talk about bowling, the way the ball was coming out of the hand, it was very. It happened exactly how I wanted it to. The planning that Chahal and I had done it was very good. It was important for us to take wickets in the middle over, we worked on it and it came off well,” Yadav told the media in the ICC Mixed Zone after the game against South Africa on Wednesday.
Yadav credited Chahal for being the more experienced of the two and for his fine haul of 4/51. “Of course, he is more experienced than me. He knows which one to bowl where, he is very good in that. I need to learn that thing from him. Maybe in a few years’ time, I will get there,” the 24-year-old chinaman bowler said.
The Kanpur-born wrist spinner only picked up four wickets for KKR in nine games this season but got the backing of his skipper Virat Kohli before the World Cup.
“Of course, T20 cricket is different from one-dayers. When IPL got over, I went back home and worked with my coach for 10 days and fixed all my basics. Coming into this big tournament, you need to step up.
“(Today) We were just trying mix it with pace and variations because in England you get very flat wickets, not much turn. You need to rely on varying pace and mix deliveries. I am glad that we did that really well in the first game, and hopefully continue the same thing,” he said about his comeback.
Yadav felt the conditions at the Ageas Bowl were more suited to the pace bowlers and Jasprit Bumrah’s opening spell set up the game for the Indian team.
“You can say that because first 10 overs are going to be very important and the way Jasprit removed those wickets, it put them under pressure. They did have a good partnership (Rassie van der Dussen and Faf du Plessis) after that but when they Chahal claimed those two wickets, the game opened up again for us. It’s a 50-over game and all five bowlers will be important,” he said about Bumrah’s early wickets.
On the conditions in Southampton, Yadav said, “Of course, the wicket was very good to bat on. I think Bumrah and Bhuvi bhai (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) bowled really well in the first 10 overs. That gave us good momentum in the game. I bowled first three overs and I spoke to Chahal ‘the wicket is good but if you bowl slower, you will get turn.’ So, we worked on that and planned according to the wicket. Yeah, our main focus was to take wickets in the middle overs.
“We did well in that aspect, maybe when we come back here again, we will focus on that again. Middle overs are very important in 50-over game and am glad we backed each other very well during that phase,” he added.