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'Lethal' Kuldeep Yadav key for India in England tour, says Virat Kohli

Kuldeep is very difficult to pick and his wrong 'un hasn't been easy and I hope he can keep working on it, says Kohli.

Reported by: India TV Sports Desk, MANCHESTER [ Published on: July 04, 2018 12:19 IST ]
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Virat Kohli and Kuldeep Yadav of India after winning the 1st Vitality International T20.

India captain Virat Kohli said 'lethal' left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav will have a key role to play in his side's ongoing tour of England. 

Chinaman Kuldeep's magical spell of wrist spin was complemented by KL Rahul's dazzling strokeplay as India started their tour of England on a resounding note, winning the opening T20I by eight wickets in Manchester on Tuesday night. (India Tour of England Full Coverage)

Kuldeep (5/24 in 4 overs) became the first chinaman bowler to take a five-for in the shortest format as he singlehandedly restricted England to a below-par 159 for 8 on a flat deck.

Then it was the turn of opener Rahul, who smashed his second T20I hundred en-route his 54-ball-101 as India comfortably chased the target in 18.2 overs.

"Just looking at all the three skill-sets and how convincing we were, gives me a lot of pleasure. Some of the younger guys stepping up pleases us too. We are shuffling around keeping the World Cup in mind and that's why KL went in at three and I went in at four. Umesh was superb with the new ball as well. Kuldeep is a wrist spinner, he's going to be lethal with any help from the pitch," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

India, as expected, proved a far stronger opposition for England. The hosts had started well with 53-1 on the board after the six-over powerplay.

Yuzvendra Chahal, who kickstarted a collapse of eight wickets for eight runs the last time he bowled against England, conceded 16 in his first over - the fourth of the innings.

Buttler recorded a remarkable seventh T20 half-century in his last eight attempts, dating back to his run of form in the Indian Premier League.

England moved to 100/2 in 12 overs before collapsing in the 14th over. Jonny Bairstow and then Joe Root were both stumped for golden ducks off Kuldeep googlies as the spinner took three wickets in his third over.

England captain Eoin Morgan was his first victim, caught at midwicket on the slog-sweep, as England collapsed from 106-2 to 107-5. David Willey hit 29 not out off 15 balls at the end but the total still seemed below par on a very good pitch.

"Kuldeep's one over really turned the game for us and it was just wonderful to watch," Kohli said.

Kohli hoped Kuldeep continues to improve his "wrong 'un", which he said is not easy to pick. 

"He (Kuldeep) is very difficult to pick and his wrong 'un hasn't been easy and I hope he can keep working on it. "

Kohli also had a special mention for KL Rahul and termed his hundred as "a great sign for Indian cricket". 

Rahul took a liking to the England bowlers as he struck five sixes and 10 fours. Australia struggled against England spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid but India had no such problems as they took 30 off two Moeen overs and 19 from Rashid's two overs. Kohli ended the game with a six as India completed the victory with 10 balls to spare.

"Rahul has come a long way; especially the way he's been batting since the IPL and in that one game in Ireland - so clean and crisp. We want guys like him to step up. We don't want to be one-dimensional, we want people going up and down the order. He's got a great technique, great temperament and is very hungry and today he was a bit emotional because the last century he scored was against England in Chennai and it's been that long he's been waiting for. It was a great century and a great sign for Indian cricket," he said.

The second day-night match is in Cardiff on Friday.

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Group A

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • India 4 4 0 8 +1.333
  • Pakistan 4 2 2 4 -0.556
  • Hong Kong 2 0 2 0 -1.748

Group B

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  • Afghanistan 4 2 2 4 -0.065
  • Bangladesh 4 2 2 2 -0.645
  • Sri Lanka 2 0 2 0 -2.280