Kuldeep Yadav India Hong Kong Asia Cup 2018 50 wickets  Ajit Agarkar
Kuldeep Yadav © Getty Images (file photo)

Kuldeep Yadav tossed one up in the 47th over during the Hong Kong innings of the fourth match of Asia Cup 2018. Scott McKechnie attempted a desperate slog and found himself stranded, watching helplessly as MS Dhoni whipped the bails off. The wicket of McKechnie was the 50th in Kuldeep’s 24-match career, which made him the joint-fourth fastest to reach the milestone. Among Indians, only Ajit Agarkar (23) had taken 50 ODI wickets in fewer matches.

Ajantha Mendis had reached the 50-wicket mark in a mere 19 ODIs — four fewer than anyone else has done in history. The second place is shared by Agarkar and Mitchell McClenaghan, while Kuldeep is tied at fourth place with Dennis Lillee and Hasan Ali. Barring injuries, Kuldeep and Hasan are both likely to feature in today’s India-Pakistan clash.

This also makes Kuldeep the second-fastest spinner (after Mendis) and the second-fastest left-arm bowler (after McClenaghan) to 50 ODI wickets.

Kuldeep’s numbers make amazing reading. Of bowlers with over fifty wickets, he has the third-best bowling average (19.42) in history, after Rashid Khan (110 wickets at 14.20) and Joel Garner (146 at 18.84). His strike rate 24.3 is also the third-best, after Rashid (21.7) and Hasan (70 wickets at 23.9).

Kuldeep made his debut against West Indies at Port-of-Spain last year, in a match where he did not get to bowl. He rapidly emerged as part of Virat Kohli‘s two-wrist-spinners plan in limited-overs cricket, forming a lethal pair with Yuzvendra Chahal.

Kuldeep took a hat-trick last year against Australia, but really rose to limelight on the South Africa tour earlier this year, with 17 wickets at 13.88 in 6 matches. He also routed England with 6 for 25 at Trent Bridge this summer.