The Highs And Lows of Kuldeep Yadav’s Career
Kuldeep Yadav. Image Credits: Getty images

India’s left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav made his Test debut back in 2017 against Australia at Dharamshala. It was the decider of the Border-Gavaskar and the spinner from Uttar Pradesh, straight away made an indelible mark as he scalped four wickets and played a key role in the success of the team. Kuldeep’s debut match was just a trailer of what he could achieve and good things were on the cards.

The wrist-spinner then went on to take giant strides at the top level and also grew in confidence with his consistent performances in the 50-overs format. The opposition’s batsmen failed to pick Kuldeep’s variations as the left-arm spinner breathed down the neck of the batters.

The spinners showed that he has a lot of arrows in his quiver and he knew which one to take out at what time during the game. Kuldeep also became the fastest Indian spinner to take 100 ODI wickets in just 58 matches, beating Harbhajan Singh’s record of 76 games.

However, things have gone south for the wrist spinner as he has failed to deliver consistently in the recent past. In fact, Kuldeep Yadav has failed to break into the final XI for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, let alone the Indian team. Yadav could not even get a place in the playing XI in the historic fourth Brisbane Test against Australia when the key spinners like Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were not available for selection due to injuries.

On the other hand, Kuldeep could only scalp a solitary wicket in IPL 2020 in five matches he played and didn’t get a game in the first half of IPL 2021. The left-arm spinner could only scalp two wickets in the solitary Test match he played against England and it wasn’t surprising to note when he was excluded from the World Test Championship squad and tour of England.

Meanwhile, Kuldeep has produced contrasting numbers in the last two years. He got off to a dream start in the 50-overs format but he has veered off the track in the previous two years. In the last 19 ODI matches, Kuldeep has snared 18 wickets at a paltry average of 57.66.

In fact, many cricket boffins believe that Kuldeep has failed to improve himself at the International level and the opposition batsmen have started to pick him up easily. However, Kuldeep feels the lack of game time has led to his downfall at the top level and it hasn’t been easy for him as he isn’t playing consistently.

Kuldeep will need to turn the tables in the coming matches and he has a lot of homework to do. A lot of International players go through a similar phase and their career is defined by the way they bounce back after getting under the pump. With the T20 World Cup set to be played in the October-November window, Kuldeep will look to catch the eyes of the selectors.