Kuldeep Yadav Virat Kohli KL Rahul India England T20 2018
Kuldeep Yadav walks off with his captain, Virat Kohli © Getty Images

Virat Kohli believes ‘lethal’ Kuldeep Yadav will have a pivotal role to play during the rest of India’s tour of England. Yadav produced a Man-of-the-Match display as he finished with 5-24 in India’s emphatic 8-wicket win over England in the first T20 International at Old Trafford. England had been in a good position at 94 for 1 but could only post 159 for 8 with Yadav’s googlies at one point giving him 3 wickets in 4 balls on his way to his best T20I figures.

KL Rahul’s unbeaten 101 from 54 balls then guided India to a comfortable victory with 10 balls to spare as they produced an impressive display, backed by a partisan support on a sun-drenched Manchester evening.

Kuldeep’s performance was also a reminder that despite their improvement in limited-overs cricket England remain vulnerable against spin.

“He’s going to be effective on any pitches we play on,” Kohli said. ”When it turns, he’s going to be even more lethal. He’s very difficult to pick. I hope he can keep the batsmen guessing. Looking at how convincing we were in all three skill-sets gives me great please as captain, especially some of the younger guys stepping up and doing the job.”

With UK enjoying a sustained spell of hot weather, Kuldeep said he felt comfortable at Old Trafford: ”It felt like home conditions. The wicket was very dry but when I bowled my first over I felt like there was going to be a bit of turn so I stuck to one line and length. I bowled my wrong ‘uns in the perfect areas. It’s my first tour and things are going quite well. Probably after this game, and for the next few games, England’s batsmen will prepare well. Obviously, they are quality players.”

The only England player to really trouble India was Jos Buttler, who made a 46-ball 69 before he also succumbed to the mastery of Kuldeep’s googly.

England captain Eoin Morgan admits his players will have to find a way to counter the danger posed by Kuldeep during the remainder of the English summer: ”Kuldeep is a very good bowler and he will continue to be a threat. Maybe we can be a bit better. It’s something we’ll assess. ”He took three wickets in four balls today and deceived us. It wasn’t a case of chipping up in the air. He bowled well.

“The more time you spend at the crease the better you see the ball. I think like it’s any challenge. If you are facing it at 90 mph bowling it’s difficult to replicate it in practice. And the same with a guy who spins it both ways. You have a clear plan and stick to it. Jos Buttler is a magnificent player of spin. If you go back and analyse how Alex Hales and Jos played him they didn’t give chances but acknowledged he bowled well.”

Kohli also commended Rahul on his innings which mixed finesse with power hitting as he made his second T20I century: ”He’s someone who has come a long way – he batted so clean, so crisp in the IPL and he has carried it forward. We want guys like him to step up, so other guys can play with more freedom. He can bat long as well. He’s very hungry, has great technique, and it’s a great sign for Indian cricket.”