Kuldeep Yadav, Shoaib Akhtar
Kuldeep Yadav (Image Credits: Twitter)

Last Update on: September 12th, 2023 at 12:10 pm

Heaping praise on Kuldeep Yadav, former Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar has expressed his surprise over the spinner losing his place in the Indian team for a brief time a few months ago.

Kuldeep Yadav, on Monday (September 11), showed his class and potential once again as he blew Pakistan away with a sensational spell in the Super 4 clash of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023. The left-arm spinner spun a web around the Pakistan team as India thrashed the arch-rivals by 228 runs.

Asked to bat first, India rode on unbeaten centuries from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul and fifties from Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill to post a huge total of 356 for 2 in the allotted 50 overs. In reply, Pakistan were all out for just 128 runs to suffer a humiliating defeat. Kuldeep Yadav was the destructor-in-chief, taking 5 wickets for just 25 runs in 8 overs.

Shoaib Akhtar surprised by Kuldeep Yadav’s omission:

While Kuldeep Yadav has once again become India’s lead spinner in the white-ball format, the story was a bit different a few months ago. The spinner was constantly failing to live up to the expectation and was even dropped from the team. However, he has made an impressive return to the white-ball setup and is now all set to lead India’s spin attack in the upcoming World Cup.

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“I could not understand why Kuldeep was out of the team in the first place. He showed that he was the best spinner in the town. Now India and Pakistan should meet in the final, where it will be a battle of attitude and nerves,” Shoaib Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.

Kuldeep Yadav has been in stunning form this year. In 13 ODIs so far, he has picked up an impressive 25 wickets at an economy rate of 4.58. India will be hoping that Kuldeep Yadav remains in the same form in the upcoming World Cup.

Speaking further, Shoaib Akhtar heaped praise on Indian bowlers’ attitude right from the word go. Jasprit Bumrah set the tone with a fiery opening spell before Hardik Pandya clean bowled Babar Azam with a beauty. Kuldeep Yadav then ran through Pakistan’s middle and lower order.

“It was a well-deserved win for India, they played really well. What I liked the most was the attitude the Indian bowlers came out with. They wanted to take wickets and wrap the contest up quickly. That was a very encouraging sign for me as a fast bowler,” said Shoaib Akhtar.

Team India will be in action again on Tuesday (September 12) when they lock horns against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

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