Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm wrist-spinner, has stated he was now thinking about making the cut for next year’s ODI World Cup to be held in India and wants to think about performing well in future assignments.
On Tuesday, Kuldeep led a stunning bowler’s show with his four wickets for 18 runs as India bowled out South Africa for just 99 in 27.1 overs in the ODI series decider and chased down the total in 19.1 overs with seven wickets in hand to clinch the series 2-1.
“The (ODI) World Cup is far away (next year in India). I am not thinking about it. I have become practical now and focus only on the series I play in. I have played enough cricket for India to have the experience to know how to bowl in the longer format. Having played in a number of ODIs and T20Is, I have got an idea of how to bowl in white-ball cricket. Before the World Cup, we will play quite a few series and my aim will be to keep performing well,” said Kuldeep in the post-match press conference.
Introduced from only the 20th over in the innings, Kuldeep bamboozled the South Africa lower-order batters with immaculate ease though Marco Jansen hit him for a six over long-on. It has also helped that Kuldeep has played a lot of cricket in the last few months, starting from the T20Is in the West Indies, followed by ODIs in Zimbabwe and a four-day match as well as three one-dayers for India ‘A’ against New Zealand ‘A’.
“Playing matches is very important for everyone. If you keep playing, you become more confident. I am lucky to get matches. You may bowl a lot in the nets but you can get an idea of what’s working only when you are bowling in matches. You need game time. In the last two months, I know I am bowling well because I have played matches,” he added.
Kuldeep cramped all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo for room with his googly turning in and took the inner edge to hit the stumps. He then trapped Bjorn Fortuin lbw and rattled Anrich Nortje’s off-stump on back-to-back deliveries in a maiden 26th over.
Though he missed the hat-trick as Lungi Ngidi negotiated it, Kuldeep was happy with his performance in the ODI series decider at New Delhi. But what caught the attention of fans was castling Aiden Markram in the series opener at Lucknow, which made people recall outplaying Pakistan captain Babar Azam in a similar way during the 2019 ODI World Cup.
“If your bowling skills are good and your rhythm is good, the pitch also seems to assist you, even if there’s just a little bit of turn on offer. They combine to give you those magic deliveries. I got a hat-trick against New Zealand ‘A’. That always gives you confidence. It’s not easy to take hat-tricks, one has to work very hard to achieve them,” concluded Kuldeep.