Eighteen months had gone by since Kuldeep Yadav last bowled in a Test match until yesterday. No longer he was the primary option for the Indian Team, and he was selected here only because the team needed to play an extra spinner in Bangladesh. Kuldeep didn’t disappoint, as he completed his third five-wicket haul in the morning session of the third day to wrap up Bangladesh for 150.
While it was the fast bowlers, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav, who set the tone with early wickets, Kuldeep Yadav took care of the middle order on his own, walking into Day 2 with four crucial wickets. Shakib Al Hasan was his first victim, who was totally undone by the drift alone, and his decision to play across the line didn’t help either.
It was then Nurul Hasan’s turn. He stayed deep in the crease, trying to work out to the leg side, but a sharp turn compelled him to throw his bat, and he ended up holing out to Shubmman Gill at the short leg. Needing one wicket to complete his five-for on Day 3, Kuldeep’s moment came when Ebadot Hossain edged out to Rishabh Pant. He also bettered Anil Kumble and R Ashwin’s records for best bowling figures by an Indian in Bangladesh.
There’s a noticeable difference in Kuldeep’s bowling action now. The follow-through isn’t taking him off balance any longer, while his body posture too remains straightish at the time of the release. If he carries on with his form in the rest of the series, he might be in contention for the upcoming Test series against Australia. However, it’s easier said than done when you have to fight with Axar Patel, a man with five five-fors in the first 13 games of his Test career, for a lone spot.
As far as the game is concerned, India is in a commanding position, and only miraculous interruption from Bangladesh batters can avoid a defeat. Instead of giving a follow-on, India decided to bat again, and Shubman Gill and KL Rahul got India off to a sturdy start.
Lead Image: Kuldeep Yadav/Twitter