Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo: IPL)

India left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the center of attraction as hid Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals (DC) defeated Mumbai Indians (MI) in their IPL 2022 tournament opener on March 27, 2022, at the Brabourne Stadium.

Kuldeep Yadav was named the Player of the Match for his amazing bowling performance as he broke the backbone of Mumbai Indians’ batting with two big wickets and in all finished with 3/18 to his name, as MI posted 177/5 in 20 overs on the back of Ishan Kishan’s 81* and Rohit Sharma’s 41.

DC captain Rishabh Pant won the toss and chose to bowl first. Tim Seifert, Rovman Powell, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav and Kamlesh Nagarkoti were playing for the JSW Group-owned franchise for the first time. It was special for Kuldeep Yadav who had been sidelined since before the second half of the IPL 2021 when he suffered a knee injury and underwent surgery to fix it.

Delhi Capitals. Photo- IPL
Delhi Capitals. Photo- IPL

Before that, Kuldeep had been dropped from the Indian team in all three formats, despite once being former captain Virat Kohli’s go-to bowler in need of wickets.

It Was A Difficult Time For Me. I Was Out With Injury For Five Months: Kuldeep Yadav

Even in the IPL, his previous franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) barely played him because of his faltering form and due to the presence of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy. He was released ahead of the IPL 2022 auction and picked by Delhi Capitals (DC). In meantime, he also made a comeback into the Indian team in white-ball cricket.

DC vs MI: I Worked On My Rhythm A Lot And Never Compromised On Turning The Ball - Kuldeep Yadav After Getting Player Of The Match In DC’s Win Over MI DC vs MI: I Worked On My Rhythm A Lot And Never Compromised On Turning The Ball - Kuldeep Yadav After Getting Player Of The Match In DC’s Win Over MI DC vs MI: I Worked On My Rhythm A Lot And Never Compromised On Turning The Ball - Kuldeep Yadav After Getting Player Of The Match In DC’s Win Over MI DC vs MI: I Worked On My Rhythm A Lot And Never Compromised On Turning The Ball - Kuldeep Yadav After Getting Player Of The Match In DC’s Win Over MI

As DC won their IPL 2022 opening match against MI by 4 wickets thanks to Lalit Yadav’s 48* and Axar Patel’s 38* and their 75*run unbeaten partnership, Kuldeep Yadav was chosen as the Player of the Match for his 3/18.

Kuldeep Yadav. Photo-IPL
Kuldeep Yadav. Photo-IPL

In the post-match presentation, Kuldeep said: “It was a difficult time for me. I was out with injury for five months. It was important for me to go for the rehab and thanks to the facilities and trainers at the NCA, I recovered very well and in time to get back into the Indian set up. And slowly I started match preparation and when I started playing the games, I got the confidence and Rohit motivated me a lot.

Whatever changes need to be done; I had that communication with him. And here in the Delhi set up I spoke to Ricky (Ponting) and he backed me a lot. I was lacking rhythm from a long time and I worked on my rhythm a lot and never compromised on turning the ball despite the variation in pace.”

DC will now face Gujarat Titans on April 2nd in Pune.

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