Indian leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav on Monday recalled his maiden international wicket where he had dismissed Australia's David Warner in Dharamsala in the 2017 Border-Gavaskar series. Kuldeep, in conversation with India TV in an Instagram Live session, revealed that it was his favourite wicket in his career so far.
During the live discussion wherein Kuldeep touched upon various aspects pertaining to coronavirus lockdown, his practice session during the lockdown and about his career, the youngster was asked what his favourite wicket was and he immediately recalled his dismissal of Warner.
Australia, after the initial jolt, looked promising riding on the 134-run partnership between Warner and Steve Smith with the former even managing his half-century. But the tables turned post the lunch break and Kuldeep was the wreaker-in-chief of dismembering Australia. Kuldeep went in
Warner expected the ball to be short and went backfoot to punch it through the off side but the delivery grabbed a healthy edge and Ajinkya Rahane comfortably took the catch in the slip. It was a much-needed wicket from India and Kuldeep celebrated with a small jump and a roar.
A few overs later, he dismissed both Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell to expose Australia's tail-enders before getting rid of a gritty Pat Cummins. Kuldeep ended with 4/68 at the end of Australia's first innings. He only bowled five overs in the second innings.
"Well I have a lot on my list, but Warner was my first wicket hence it will always be memorable. For any player, making a Test debut is always a highlight of his career. It would have been better had it been a five-wicket haul. But I am happy to have contributed significantly to the victory," he said. Kuldeep also added JP Duminy's name to the list, whom he had dismissed thrice in his ODI career.
Kuldeep then named the South Africa ODI series and the tour of Australia as his two favourite series he has been part of. He had taken 17 wickets in the South Africa ODI series in 2018, the second-best after Yuzvendra Chahal with the pair scripting history for India. Averaging only 13.88, Kuldeep recorded a strike rate of 23.4 in six matches. And in the Australia series in 2019/20, Kuldeep played just one Test, at Sydney Cricket Ground, and he bagged a five-wicket haul.
The youngster also praised captain Virat Kohli for the manner in which he backed two leg-spinners - himself and Yuzvendra Chahal - and included both of them in the lineup.
It is very difficult for any captain to include two leg spinners in the lineup and feel me and Chahal both lived up to the expectations," he added.
With coronavirus halting all sports events across the globe, the possibility of Australia hosting the T20 World Cup is shrouded in uncertainty. When asked if there has been a word from the team management, Kuldeep said, "Nobody is talking about cricket nor thinking about the sport. They just told us to take care of ourselves, stay safe and healthy so that when things resume we are all fit to join. No other message."
(With inputs from India TV Sports Correspondent Vaibhav Bhola)