Kuldeep becomes 1st `chinaman` bowler to claim fifer, says it’s surreal

Rajkot: Kuldeep Yadav achieved yet another milestone on Saturday as he became the first Indian chinaman bowler to claim a five-wicket haul, which he achieved during Day Three of the first Test against West Indies here at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Sunday.

The 23-year-old also became the second Asian cricketer to achieve the feat after Sri Lanka’s Lakshan Sandakan in 2017.

On the back of Yadav’s scintillating show in the second innings, India crushed West Indies by an innings and 272 runs within three days. It was also India’s biggest-ever win by an innings.

Reflecting on the same, Yadav said that it was a surreal feeling to claim a five-wicket haul in Test cricket. “Every cricketer dreams of featuring in the test cricket when he plays for the national side,”he said.

He admitted that the series loss against England was due to the Indian players’ inability to adjust to the foreign conditions.

“We as a team could have fared better in England. Later, I played a couple of matches for India ‘A’ as well. In Rajkot, it took me time to adjust in the 1st innings and I tried to bowl with precision in the 2nd innings and was able to pick up wickets,” Yadav said.

Talking about his strategy while bowling against the Caribbean side, he said, “In the first innings, I was not attacking. I tried to flight the ball which resulted in the leaking of unnecessary runs. I aimed at controlling the run flow in 2nd innings giving minimum flight and trying fewer variations.”

On his comeback trail to the Indian squad, he commented, “After returning from England, I went to my coach, and concentrated on quickening the release of the ball. I prolonged my spells and tried to bowl with accuracy. The transition from white ball to red ball is challenging since the white ball is harder and has a better grip.”

The West Indies batsmen struggled to read the deceptive youngster in the second innings, while Kuldeep kept routing wickets at regular intervals. First, he scalped Shai Hope (17) and then followed it up with back-to-back wickets of Shimron Hetmyer (17) and Sunil Ambris (0) in the same over to break the backbone of the visitors’ batting line-up.

He got Chase castled, fooling him with his flight. The West Indies batsman ended up giving an easy catch to Ravichandran Ashwin.