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regular-article-logo Saturday, 25 May 2024

Test cricket: Kuldeep Yadav puts Bangladesh on mat

There was no respite for Bangla after Indian lower-order made them toil hard for more than a session

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 16.12.22, 06:41 AM
Kuldeep Yadav on the second day of the first Test against Bangladesh on Thursday.

Kuldeep Yadav on the second day of the first Test against Bangladesh on Thursday. Twitter

Kuldeep Yadav has failed to do justice to the promise he showed since taking his first steps in international cricket in 2017. The first two seasons turned out to be fruitful but he played only one Test each in 2019 and 2021 while missing out in 2020.

Making an appearance in a Test after 22 months, Kuldeep has shown that he is determined to make a comeback. It was mainly because of his stubborn inning and four-wicket haul that Bangladesh stumbled to 133 for eight at stumps on the second day of the first Test in Chittagong.

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Kuldeep first scored a career-best 40 in an 87-run partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin to help India reach 404 before making the most of the slow and low conditions. Bangladesh still need 72 runs to avoid follow-on.

There was no respite for Bangladesh after the Indian lower-order made them toil hard for more than a session. The tone was set by Mohammad Siraj who dismissed Najmul Hossain Shanto with the first ball of the innings. Umesh Yadav then removed Yasir Ali.

Litton Das threatened to counterattack but after engaging in a verbal duel with Siraj, he dragged the ball on to his stumps. “I just told him ‘this isn’t T20 format, this is Test cricket, play sensible cricket,’” Siraj later said.

Siraj then had debutant Zakir Hasan caught behind to leave Bangladesh tottering at 56/4.

Kuldeep then got into the act. The left-arm wrist spinner struck off his second ball, beating Shakib-al Hasan in flight. As the light deteriorated in the final session, Kuldeep struck three times in 12 balls with variations in flight, sharp turn and wrong ‘uns.

Shubman Gill took a superb catch to his right at short leg to send Nurul Hasan back for 16 before trapping Mushfiqur Rahim lbw for 28 and had Taijul Islam chop on for a duck.

Siraj later said he is reaping the rewards of his hard work. “In 2018 the incoming deliveries had completely stopped. At that time my outswing was working better,” he said at the media conference. “So I was a bit confused as to why my in-swingers weren’t working.

“Then I decided to use the wobble seam because incoming deliveries are always a problem for batsmen... Because outswing is visible more clearly for the batsmen but when it comes in, it becomes difficult for the batsmen. So I used the wobble seam.”

Southee to lead in Tests

Wellington: Kane Williamson has stepped down as Test captain and has been replaced by Tim Southee, New Zealand Cricket said on Thursday.

After taking charge in 2016 Williamson captained New Zealand in 40 Tests — 22 wins, 10 defeats and eight draws — and led the team to victory over India in the inaugural World Test Championship final in 2021.

“For me, Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and I’ve enjoyed the challenges of leading the side in the format,” said Williamson.

“Captaincy comes with an increased workload on and off the field and at this stage of my career I feel the time is right for this decision.”

Williamson will remain New Zealand’s white-ball captain and he said he will continue to play in all three formats.

Southee, who stood in as captain for 22 T20Is between 2017-21, will lead the Test team on their next assignment — a two-match series in Pakistan.

"It’s been a surreal few days and just a massive honour,” Southee said.

Reuters

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