Aakash Chopra has lauded Kuldeep Yadav for being India’s principal wicket-taker in their first two Asia Cup 2023 Super Four games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka respectively.
Kuldeep registered figures of 5/25 in eight overs as India thrashed Pakistan by 228 runs at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday, September 11. He followed that up with a spell of 4/43 in 9.3 overs at the same venue a day later as the Men in Blue beat Sri Lanka by 41 runs to book their spot in the final.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra pointed out that India are not over-reliant on their spinners. However, he heaped praise on Kuldeep for being their strike weapon in their last two games, saying:
“The good thing about the Indian team is that they are not over-dependent on their spinners, although Kuldeep Yadav, what a bowler he is. Five wickets in one match and four in the next.”
The former Indian opener added that the left-arm wrist-spinner accounting for 50% of the wickets the seven-time champions have taken in the last two days is a reflection of how well he has bowled. He stated:
“He has taken nine wickets in total although India have taken only 18 wickets in these two matches overall. So 50% of the wickets have been taken by just one man. He has bowled superbly.”
Kuldeep dismissed Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka in back-to-back overs in Tuesday’s game after the duo had strung together a 43-run fourth-wicket partnership. He later came back to castle Kasun Rajitha and Matheesha Pathirana in his final over to seal India’s win.
“This is why we say Jassi jaisa koi nahin” – Aakash Chopra lauds Jasprit Bumrah’s initial spell
Aakash Chopra also appreciated Jasprit Bumrah for making the early inroads in the Sri Lankan innings. He observed:
“Bumrah started it. He picked up two wickets. This is why we say Jassi jaisa koi nahin. He is a mighty bowler. It seemed like this pitch had slightly less help (for the seamers) compared to the Pakistan game because this pitch was extremely dry.”
Chopra added that Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj’s three wickets in the first powerplay made the job easier for India’s spin trio. He elaborated:
“In such a case, for him to take two wickets at the start and Mohammed Siraj to pick up a wicket, you had taken three wickets and said tata bye-bye to the top three. If you have bid goodbye to Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis, you have already broken the opposing team’s back slightly.”
Apart from Kuldeep’s four-wicket haul, Ravindra Jadeja (2/33) was the other Indian spinner among the wickets. Although Axar Patel played a crucial 26-run knock, he went wicketless and conceded 29 runs in the five overs he bowled.
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