After being ignored for a long time, Kuldeep Yadav once again displayed his skills as he formed a lovely bowling partnership with Mohammed Siraj to demolish Sri Lanka for 215 inside 40 overs in the second ODI in Kolkata on Thursday. The left-arm wrist spinner, who was left out after a five-wicket haul in his comeback Test against Bangladesh in Chattogram last month, got a surprise call-up after leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal pulled out with a “sore right shoulder”.
Kuldeep (3/51) answered the call grabbing three wickets in his first five overs, in a spell that triggered Sri Lankan collapse from being 102/1 just when it seemed that debutant Nuwanidu Fernando (50 from 63 balls) and Kusal Mendis (34 from 34 balls)had started to frustrate Indian bowlers post Powerplay with a swift counter-attack.
After Kuldeep’s show, former India pacer Dodda Ganesh had a very sarcastic take on the bowler being dropped regularly despite good performances.
“Kuldeep, enough man. Don’t pick so many wickets. With 3 wkts already the odds of u being dropped for the next match are really high #DoddaMathu #CricketTwitter #INDvSL,” Ganesh tweeted after the Kuldeep’s show.
— Dodda Ganesh | (@doddaganesha) January 12, 2023
But as Kuldeep ran through the Sri Lankan middle-order that included the prized-scalp of rival skipper Dasun Shanaka (2), the visitors went on to lose five wickets in the space of 43 balls to virtually lose the plot after they opted to bat on a flat deck.
Young Umran Malik also returned with figures of 2/48 from his seven overs.
Replacing in-form opener Pathum Nissanka (stiff back), youngster Nuwanindu Fernando looked solid and hit a splendid half-century on debut in a 73-run partnership with Kusal Mendis (34).
The Indian new ball bowlers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj swung both ways and got some early movement.
But the 23-year-old looked in complete control and negotiated the pace attack well as he along with Mendis took Sri Lanka past 100-mark after Siraj’s breakthrough in the powerplay.
Avishka Fernando earlier took Siraj to cleaners smashing him three boundaries in a row but the pacer had the last word when he bowled him with an incoming delivery that took an inside edge to unsettle the middle timber.
From 29/1 inside six overs, Sri Lanka recovered well and did not seem to be in any trouble even as Rohit tried out both Hardik Pandya and Umran Malik.
With PTI inputs
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