Getty Images and IANS
Getty Images and IANS

There was a moment in the final session of Day One of the Dharamsala Test when the No.1 and No.2 Test bowlers Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were bowling in tandem but everyone awaited for Kuldeep Yadav’s fresh spell. His Chinaman wizardry bamboozled Australia as his 4 for 68 skittled out Australia for 300 on a good batting surface. Chinaman is a rare art. So rare that the 288th cricketer to play for India is the first one to bowl it. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, 4th Test at Dharamsala

CricketCountry caught up with its mentor and former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman on the 22-year-old’s dream debut. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

CricketCountry (CC): How impressed are you with Kuldeep Yadav’s spell?

VVS Laxman (VVS): The way Kuldeep performed on his debut, it was good to see him have confidence on his skills. He exhibited tremendous self-belief and executed his plans to perfection. I had a chat with him post the day’s play and his replies showed that he had a lot of clarity in his thought process. I think he will have a very good Test career.

CC: What about his control? He bowled excellent lengths. What are your thoughts?

VVS: He is just 22. For any Chinaman bowler or wrist spinner, bowling with control is a big challenge. If you see how he bowled, 95 % of his deliveries were full. So you can see that is the kind of control he has on his bowling. It shows the amount of hard work he has put in over the last one or one-and-half years. He was always perceived as a good T20 bowler but to have the control over a long period of time shows that he has worked tremendously hard to master this skill.

CC: What is it playing against Chinaman bowlers? You have played against the likes of Paul Adams and Brad Hogg.

VVS: I have played two quality Chinaman bowlers in Brad Hogg and Paul Adams. Both of them were really experienced when I played them. Even with their experience, every two or three overs I would get one or two short-pitched deliveries. I do not remember seeing Kuldeep bowl longhops. The control for wrist spinner is always going to be tough.

CC: A right-arm bowler’s googly is probably not as difficult to read when compared to a Chinaman’s. Any reasons for that?

VVS: It was very tough to face Hogg when he bowled with control. The arm-speed for a Chinaman bowler is always going to be more quick and if you are not watching the wrist closely then it is very difficult to pick if it is the usual Chinaman or googly. Chinaman bowlers are very rare breed and you do not get to practice against quality Chinaman bowlers, so it is always going to be challenging to play these kind of bowlers.

CC: How do you coach a Chinaman bowler? There is no template to look up to.

VVS: You cannot convert a finger spinner to a Chinaman bowler. It is something that comes very natural. It is important to identify the uniqueness and encourage them.