Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav was unfortunate to miss the second T20I against West Indies after he was left out of the playing XI due to a precaution as he avoided an injury in the nets, revealed captain Hardik Pandya.
Kuldeep returned back to the playing XI for the third T20I at Providence Stadium in Guyana and played a key role in keeping West Indies to a total of 159/5, as the Indian spin wizard picked up three wickets.
Nicholas Pooran had smashed a blistering knock of 67 runs in the previous game but Kuldeep got rid of the West Indies talismanic batter at 20, and in the same over, he removed a well-set Brandon King at 42.
The Chinaman’s two quick wickets changed the complexion of the game allowing India to roar back in a do-or-die fixture having lost the first two games. Kuldeep not only picked up important wickets, he also surpassed a major milestone going past fellow Indian bowlers Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.
Kuldeep achieved a half-century of wickets in the T20I formats courtesy of his three wickets in the third T20I. Interestingly, he also became the fastest Indian to fifty T20I wickets, taking just 30 matches to surpass the major milestone.
Earlier, Yuzvendra Chahal required 34 games to go past the fifty wickets tally in T20Is, the veteran spinner is India’s leading wicket-taker in the shortest format. Jasprit Bumrah meanwhile needed 41 games to go past the fifty wickets mark.
Interestingly, the last time Kuldeep and Bumrah played together in an international match was in 2020.— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) August 8, 2023
Kuldeep however went past his two compatriots and was crucial for the Men in Blue as they tried to keep West Indies from winning the series. Talking about the third T20I, captain Rovman Powell’s 19-ball 40-run cameo helped his side to a series-high total of 159 runs.
King contributed 42 in as many balls, while apart from Kuldeep, Axar Patel and Mukesh Kumar got a wicket each.