Kuldeep said he values Test cricket more than any format and to pick a five-wicket haul in the longer format was special.
Kuldeep said he values Test cricket more than any format and to pick a five-wicket haul in the longer format was special.

After registering his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket in just his fourth match with 5 for 57 in the second innings of the 1st Test against West Indies, wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav revealed the he aimed for accuracy as was rewarded.

“In the morning spell, I thought I could dismiss them easily as they were attacking. In the second spell, I just focused on accuracy,” said Kuldeep during the post match presser.

“(In the) First innings I did not anticipate that they (West Indies batsmen) will attack me so much,”. But they were going for their strokes so in the second innings I did not fight the ball as much, kept it tight and got the wickets. They have a lot of power hitters and if you give them too much flight, you could end up leaking runs,” he added.

In the first innings, the 23-year-old was taken for 62 runs in his ten overs, returning just one wicket.

He went on to say that he values Test cricket more than any format and to pick a five-wicket haul in the longer format was special.

“It is a great feeling, taking five wickets in a Test match. Red ball cricket is very close to my heart and I want to play this format for a long time. It doesn’t matter which I side I am playing against. It is only my fourth Test, so this is very special,” he said.

After going wicketless in the only Test that he played at Lord’s, Kuldeep went back to his personal bowling coach to get in to the rhythm of bowling with the red-ball. The frequent change in the formats – from playing England ODIs, then Tests and then Asia Cup to Tests against West – had left Kuldeep in a pickle.

“It is very difficult to switch to red ball from white ball and vice versa, especially for a wrist spinner. It is challenging because you take time to get used to it. White ball is on the harder side, grips better. Red ball wears down faster, gets soft,” revealed Kuldeep, who picked ten wickets in the 2018 Asia Cup to become the leading wicket-taker in the tournament. He also tormented England in the three-match ODI series taking nine wickets.

“After coming back from England, I went to my coach at home, bowled with the red ball for three four days . It was difficult because after playing white ball format you lose rhythm with the red ball. I mainly focused on release of red ball, bowling slower as you tend to bowl faster with white-ball.”

The extra practice helped as he picked up eight wickets against Australia A in the second unofficial Test.

He did not get many opportunities in England but when asked what went wrong at the Lord’s, where he wicket-less in nine overs, he said: “In England I was thinking bowling good length but that time I was not much used to the Duke ball. The Duke red ball is harder than the SG so you need probably 10-15 days to get used to the ball.”

The fact that the Test series in England came after three limited overs series in the UK, made preparation a tad tougher for Kuldeep.

“But I got my confidence back after taking five wickets against Australia A,” he added.