Debutant Kuldeep Yadav was on fire during the first day’s play at the picturesque HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala, on Saturday, picking up four Australian wickets.
The 22-year-old churned-in a great debut performance and struck at a time when a Team India side, void of their injured skipper Virat Kohli, were struggling after Australia opener David Warner and skipper Steve Smith posted a 134-run partnership for the second wicket to give the visitors a great start.
Here are five things you need to know about new kid on the block, Kuldeep Yadav.
Became the first ‘chinaman’ to play for Team India
History was created when former left-arm spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan handed Kuldeep Yadav his first India cap; India were fielding a ‘chinaman’ for the first time.
A ‘chinaman’ is a left-arm wrist spinner, who turns the ball into the right-handed batsmen and away from the left-handed batsmen.
Son of a brick kiln owner
Like many athletes from India, Kuldeep Yadav is also from a humble background. His father was the owner of a brick kiln in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh. Kuldeep’s family later shifted to Kanpur, so that his dream to become a cricketer could one day be realised.
Started career as a fast bowler
As a kid, Kuldeep used to idolise Wasim Akram and wanted to be a fast bowler like the former Pakistan captain. However, after four-five months of pace-bowling, Kuldeep was asked by his coach to take up spin, and the chinaman was the delivery that came most naturally to him. The rest, as they say, is history.
Idolises Shane Warne
While he was a fan of Akram in his younger days, Kuldeep started to appreciate the art of spin bowling once he started bowling chinaman himself. He watched a lot of Shane Warne videos in order to perfect his techniques. Although Wanre is not a chinaman, the only difference between him and Kuldeep is that the former bowles with the right arm while the latter does it with his left.
Shane Warne helped him get his first Test wicket
Although Kuldeep has a number of deliveries in his repertoire, the 22-year-old had to work with legendary Australian leg spinner Shane Warne in order to improve his flipper, which eventually got him his first Test wicket.
In fact, India head coach Anil Kumble took Kuldeep to Warne ahead of the first Test between India and Australia in Pune. The Indian youngster said that he had worked on his flipper with his idol; he eventually got his first Test wicket, that of Aussie opener Shane Warne, with a flipper, as stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane gleefully took the catch at first slip.