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Kuldeep Yadav: “I always work hard on my hitting”

Team India left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav has stated that he was confident of doing well with the bat in the first innings of the ongoing Chattogram Test against Bangladesh.

The 28-year-old made an excellent comeback in Test cricket after almost two years, taking 5/40 in the first innings against Bangladesh. But before that, he too made a significant contribution with the bat, scoring a challenging 40 off 114 balls.

India was 293/7 in their first innings. However, Kuldeep and Ravichandran Ashwin (58 from 113 balls) added 92 runs for the eighth wicket as the visitors ended up posting an impressive 404. In a press conference after the third day game on Friday 16 December, the arm spinner left was questioned about his determined hit with the willow. He stated:

“I always work hard on my hitting. Even in white ball cricket, I am working just as hard. I have always done well in red ball cricket. I have scored quite a few runs in first class. He was sure he could hold one end up.

“I am 100 percent satisfied with my performance. Although I couldn’t score 50, that 40 was very important for the team. That partnership was Ashwin, during which we added 92, got us past 400, which was crucial.”

While Kuldeep posted his highest Test score in the first innings on Chattogram, he already has one hundred and six fifty to his credit from 34 first-class matches.

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“I wasn’t thinking that I’m playing after a long time” – Kuldeep Yadav

Even though the left-arm spinner has played a few matches for India in white-ball cricket in recent years, the Chattogram Test is his first red-ball game for the country since February 2021.

Kuldeep, however, denied that the long gap was playing on his mind, explaining:

“I wasn’t thinking that I’m playing after a long time. It’s a different matter if you haven’t played cricket for a couple of years. You can definitely fight in such a scenario during the comeback. But I’ve been playing white ball games quite often with the team, so I didn’t feel as much pressure.

“It may be in the back of your mind that you’re playing Test cricket after two years, but I didn’t feel that way.”

During the media interaction, Kuldeep was also asked about the experience of bowling alongside Ashwin and Axar Patel. Calling it very good, he added:

“They have done very well in test matches and they continue to do so. Bowling occurs in associations, regardless of format. When pressure is applied from one end, the windows pop out of the other. That was what happened. I’m enjoying bowling with spinners and hope it continues.”

While Kuldeep claimed five wickets in the first innings, Axar managed just one, even as Ashwin ran out wicket.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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