In just over a year after making his international debut, Kuldeep Yadav has become a crucial part of India’s limited overs bowling machinery. The left-arm wrist spinner has got the better of several established batsmen with his guile and he gave a taste of the same to the Englishmen on Tuesday as well, picking up a career-best haul of 6/25 in the first ODI in Nottingham.
Cricketnext takes a look at the youngster's path-breaking performances across all formats:
1) Dream debut against Australia (Dharamsala, 2017)
In the finale of a hostile series between India and Australia, Kuldeep Yadav made his international debut replacing Ishant Sharma. Post electing to bat, Australia ended the first session with David Warner and Steve Smith looking set and poised for big scores. Enter debutant Kuldeep Yadav.
India were hoping that the mystery spinner would prove to be the trump card in Dharamsala, and the move paid dividends. The Australian batsmen failed to read Kuldeep's variations, from his hand and off the wicket. Kuldeep ended Day 1 with figures of 4/68, helping India restrict the opposition for 300 in the first innings. The home side eventually went on to win the Test by eight wickets, courtesy of an all-round performance by Ravindra Jadeja and clinched the series 2-1.
2) Hat-trick at Eden Gardens (Kolkata, 2017)
In the second ODI of the five-match series against Australia in 2017, Kuldeep Yadav became only the third Indian bowler to take an ODI hat-trick, after Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma. He ripped through Australia's lower order at Eden Gardens, cleaning up Matthew Wade, trapping Ashton Agar in front and finding the outside edge of Pat Cummins. His spell of 3/54 guided India to a 50-run victory and helped the hosts go up 2-0 in the series.
3) 4/23 vs South Africa (Cape Town, 2018)
The toughest Test of Kuldeep’s short limited overs career was supposed to be in South Africa. But dry conditions in the region enabled purchase from the pitches, and the wrist-spinner finished with 17 wickets in six ODIs.
His best performance came in the third ODI of the series at Cape Town. India pilled on 303 runs after being asked to bat, with skipper Virat Kohli scoring an unbeaten 160 off 159 balls. The 23-year-old was in great from on the night, conceding just 23 runs from his nine overs and picking up four wickets – his best figures in ODIs. South Africa were dismissed for just 179 and India took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
4) 4/57 vs South Africa (Port Elizabeth, 2018)
In the same series two games later, Kuldeep Yadav produced another four-wicket haul, which helped clinch the series. India managed to post just 274 at Port Elizabeth despite Rohit Sharma’s century, thanks to an excellent performance by Lungi Ngidi.
After Hardik Pandya made inroads in the top-order, Kuldeep's 4/57 cleaned up the lower middle order and South Africa were bowled out for just 201. Yadav picked up the wickets of Klaasen, Phehlukwayo, Rabada and Shamsi to guide India to a 73-run victory, which meant India registered their first ever ODI series win in the Rainbow Nation.
5) 5/24 vs England (Manchester, 2018)
Against a devastating England batting line-up, India were counting on their wrist-spin pair, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, to come good heading into the first of three T20Is. While the leg-spinner failed to deliver, the 'Chinaman' bowler produced the best figures of his international career.
Yadav was introduced into the attack in the 10th over with England on 72/1 and Jos Buttler on rampage. The England opener dispatched the spinner for a boundary on the first delivery but that was all he could do. The left-arm spinner warmed up by cleaning up the struggling Alex Hales in his second over and then turned the screws on the hosts in his third over by picking up three wickets in the space of four deliveries. His victims were Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, all three failing to read the bowler.
By the time Virat Kohli completed a fine high catch in the deep to send back Buttler and hand Yadav his first ever fifer in an international T20, England had already conceded the momentum to the 'Men in Blue'. Yadav's 5/24 allowed India to restrict England to 159, a target that was duly achieved with 10 balls to spare, thanks to an unbeaten KL Rahul century.
6) 6/25 vs England (Nottingham, 2018)
Kuldeep Yadav (IMAGE: AFP)
After an inspiring performance in the first T20I against England, Kuldeep Yadav once again proved to be a tough proposition for Eoin Morgan and his men, in the first ODI at Trent Bridge of the three-match series. Post a healthy start by openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy, the chinaman stifled the opposition with his variations and guile. Roy, who looked well set for a big score, mistimed a reverse sweep and Umesh Yadav took a simple catch. Bairstow and Joe Root were deceived in the air and were dismissed shortly thereafter. The dangerous Jos Buttler was caught behind the legs by MS Dhoni and Ben Stokes, like Roy, was caught trying to play a reverse-sweep. David Willey failed to capitalise on a short ball and KL Rahul took a simple catch at deep midwicket for Kuldeep's sixth.
The left arm spinner’s six-wicket haul is, at present, is the best figures by an Indian spinner overseas and the fourth best figures by an Indian bowler in ODIs.