Picture of Kuldeep Yadav from Asia Cup 2023.© AFP
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav took home the Man of the Tournament prize in the Asia Cup 2023. He finished the event as India’s second-highest wicket-taker, with nine scalps in four innings at an average of 11.44 and an economy of 3.61. His best figures were 5 for 25 against Pakistan. “I don’t think a lot; I just read the wicket. It’s very important for me to get the length right, and keep bowling at the good length,” he said. “I also read the batter, as to what shot is he trying to play. I have been efficiently using my wrong one and flipper, and I’m gaining a lot of confidence from it.
“I have worked a lot (on the wrong’un) in the last one and a half years. The rhythm is something that breaks off quite often and takes time to get it back.” Kuldeep’s form had gone on a downward spiral in 2019, and it has taken him nearly four years to get his rhythm back.
“I’m lucky to have gained that rhythm back. It did take some time and wasn’t easy, but now, it’s going smooth and aggressive, along with the pace; enjoying it a lot.” Siraj’s awe-inspiring spell did not allow Kuldeep to bowl in the final. However, the latter was pleased to have bowled efficiently in the three matches where he bowled.
“I guess the way you (Siraj) bowled today, I’m glad that I did not have to bowl today. You deserve the moment. Also, if a team gets bowled out for 50, you always want the match to finish quickly.
“It doesn’t matter whether I bowled or not. I did bowl in two (three) matches, where I bowled well, and I am satisfied with it.”