Rajkot, Oct 7: Kuldeep Yadav’s 5/57 helped India to record their largest ever victory in Test cricket, by an innings and 272 runs over Windies at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.
Despite the one-sided nature of the result, he said his figures, which made him the first left-arm wrist-spinner to take a Test five-for for India, were “very special” to him.
“This is a great feeling because taking five wickets in Test cricket holds a lot of importance for every bowler,” he said. “Every budding cricketer dreams of playing this format of the game – this achievement is really special for me because the red ball is very close to my heart; I want to be a long-term Test cricketer.
“If you take five wickets in Test cricket it’s very special for any bowler. I’ve played only four Test matches, and for me it’s very special to get a five-wicket haul against any side,” Kuldeep said.The defeat was a chastening one for the Windies, their second-heaviest in the format. Kuldeep had some encouraging words for them and their aggressive method, an ICC report said.
“The West Indies are a good side,” he said. “They have very good players. They were attacking every ball and when someone is attacking, sometimes you tend to bowl too short and too full, so a five-wicket haul is very special.”
The spell was an important one for Kuldeep, since his last Test had not gone as planned; he made a pair with the bat and conceded 0/44 in just nine overs as India lost by an innings to England at Lord’s. He pinpointed switching between formats and the different balls used in England as reasons why he struggled there.
“Switching from white ball to red ball is extremely challenging for a wrist-spinner because it takes you time to get acclimatised to the conditions,” he said. “The white ball is hard, you can get a good grip on it. The red ball becomes very soft as the game progresses and it takes time to adjust to that.
“The conditions in England were different, maybe I should have bowled better there. When I got the game in the second Test match, I was bowling a good length but at that time I was not used to the Dukes ball. It’s hard compared to the SG ball. You need probably 10-15 days to get used to the conditions and get used to the ball as well,” said Kuldeep said.
He credited additional time spent bowling with the SG ball in Indian conditions for his success against the Windies. “After that, I came back here and played two matches with India A. A successful comeback always means a lot to any player.
"When I came back from England I played with the SG ball, and in the first game it took me probably two innings to gain the confidence. In the second game against Australia A I got five wickets and everything changed from there,” Kuldeep said.
Even with the confidence gained from those figures, Kuldeep said it still took him some time to get going against Windies.
“I took my time to get used to the conditions in the first innings, which is why I was able to apply myself in the second. In my morning spell today, I was thinking about taking wickets. But in the second spell, I wasn't trying to toss the ball up. I focused on accuracy then,” he added.
The second Test begins on October 12 at Hyderabad.UNI