Kuldeep Yadav’s international debut was a memorable one as he played a big role in India’s series-deciding victory over Australia in the 4th Test match at Dharamsala in March 2017. Drafted into the team as the third spinner alongside Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the left arm wrist spinner outshone his senior colleagues to pick up four wickets in the first innings, an effort that helped India stall Australia’s total to 300, despite a century from the then-skipper Steve Smith.
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Indian captain Virat Kohli was not playing the match due to a shoulder injury but it was widely reported at that time that Kohli was keen to give Kuldeep a go. It was a big moment for the youngster as he had to impress then-India coach Anil Kumble, a legendary spinner in his own time.
While remembering his debut Test during an interview with NDTV, Kuldeep spoke about what Kumble told him a day before the match, which left him speechless for a while.
“On the day before my Test debut, he told me at lunch that you have to take five wickets. I couldn’t respond for a few moments, but then said I’ll definitely do it,” Kuldeep Yadav revealed.
Kuldeep went on to take four wickets in the first innings and went wicketless in the second as Umesh Yadav, Ashwin and Jadeja did the bulk of the damage. He went on from that experience and had a great run for the team in limited-overs cricket.
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