“I always work hard on my batting”

Team India left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav has stated that he was confident of doing well with the bat in the first innings of the ongoing Chattogram Test against Bangladesh.

The 28-year-old made a terrific comeback to Test cricket after close to two years, claiming 5/40 in the first innings against Bangladesh. But before that, he made a significant contribution with the bat as well, scoring a defiant 40 off 114 balls.

India were 293/7 in their first innings. However, Kuldeep and Ravichandran Ashwin (58 off 113 balls) added 92 runs for the eighth wicket as the visitors ended up posting an impressive 404. At a press conference following the third day’s play on Friday, December 16, the left-arm spinner was asked about his resolute knock with the willow. He asserted:

“I always work hard on my batting. Even in white-ball cricket, I am working as hard. I have always done well in red-ball cricket. I have scored quite a few runs in first class. I was confident that I could hold one end up.

“I am 100 percent satisfied with my performance. Although I couldn’t score 50, that 40 was very important for the team. That partnership was Ashwin, during which we added 92, took us past 400, which was crucial.”

While Kuldeep registered his highest Test score in the first innings in Chattogram, he already has one hundred and six fifties to his credit from 34 first-class matches.

“I was not thinking that I am playing after a long time” – Kuldeep Yadav

Even as the left-arm spinner has played a few matches for India in white-ball cricket over the last couple of years, the Chattogram Test is his first red-ball game for the country since February 2021.

Kuldeep, however, denied that the long gap was playing on his mind and explained:

“I was not thinking that I am playing after a long time. It’s a different matter if you have not played cricket at all for a couple of years. Definitely, you can struggle in such a scenario during comeback. But I have been playing white-ball matches quite continuously with the team, so I did not feel that much pressure.

“It can be at the back of your mind that you are playing Test cricket after two years, but I did not feel like that.”

During the media interaction, Kuldeep was also asked about the experience of bowling alongside Ashwin and Axar Patel. Terming it a very good one, he added:

“They have done very well in Test matches and are still doing so. Bowling happens in partnerships, irrespective of the format. When pressure is applied from one end, wickets come from the other. That’s what happened. I am enjoying bowling with spinners and hopefully it will continue.”

While Kuldeep claimed five wickets in the first innings, Axar managed only one even as Ashwin went wicketless.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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