The left-arm went a step further to cement his place in the XI ahead of October’s World Cup on Wednesday, picking up the vital wickets of David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne AND Alex Carey in the middle overs to dent Australia’s central order and prevent them from escaping with a huge score.
On a sluggish run by Chepauk that afforded him appreciable turn and rebound, Kuldeep elected to bowl faster than usual. Close Indian fielders were heard over the log mike advising Kuldeep to launch a little slower into the air, but he stuck to his guns and reaped the rewards for it.
Kuldeep’s previous experience playing this course helped him focus on getting the right pace and length. “I played the India ‘A’ series here so I knew the wicket was slow. I was getting a good drift in the air and bowling a lot of stitching deliveries,” he said during the innings break.
The southpaw fooled Warner e Labuschagne in the air, inducing false blows to cause them to fall. But it was Carey’s firing that was truly encouraging. Bowling one in the 39th over a good length to center and leg, Kuldeep spun the ball the other way and beat Carey all ends, removing the stump. “I really liked that ball (which Carey got out). I’ve been working on this delivery. Just try to bowl to the center and leg line, and from there, if I can get the ball rolling, there can be a top edge.” Kuldeep said.
Rahul coach Dravid he is aware of the game-altering ability of a wrist spinner like Kuldeep which is why the 28-year-old is currently a regular in the playing XI.
“Obviously having a wrist spinner, if he’s playing well, is a huge advantage. Taking wickets in middle overs is important. A wrist spinner gives the ability to attack and take wickets in middle overs which is why we gave a Kuldeep quite a consistent run,” Dravid said on Tuesday.
Given Kuldeep’s power, the former Indian batting bulwark is giving him a long string ahead of Chahal. “We have Yuzi (Chahal), who is a very good bowler and unfortunately he is losing. At the moment, we believe in giving people a consistent run before making decisions and Kuldeep is the one who is getting the run in the last few games,” he said Dravid.