India’s 29-year-old chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav, made a significant impact on his return to Test cricket in the ongoing second Test against England in Visakhapatnam. Replacing the all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI, Kuldeep showcased his prowess with two crucial breakthroughs, turning the tide in India’s favour on Day 2.
In an impressive display of skill, Kuldeep deceived England’s wicket-keeper batsman, Ben Foakes, with a beautifully flighted delivery. Foakes misjudged the ball, closing his body and bat early, resulting in the ball moving marginally inside and staying low after pitching. The wicket-keeper batsman, expecting bounce, made an error in judgment, failing to get the bat in time before the ball hit the stumps. Foakes contributed just 6 runs off 10 balls before departing.
Kuldeep Yadav’s impact continued as he dismissed leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed, who tried to pull away a short delivery but ended up giving a catch to Shubman Gill at short mid-wicket. Ahmed also contributed 6 runs before departing, leaving England struggling at 173 for 6.
The second Test mirrored the pattern of the first Test in terms of England’s batting struggles. After a promising start provided by Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley, the middle order collapsed once again. Duckett was Kuldeep’s first victim, departing for 21 off 17 balls. Crawley, who had a brisk innings of 76 off 78 balls, fell to Axar Patel.
England’s experienced Test batter, Joe Root, remained subdued, falling to Jasprit Bumrah for 5 runs. Bumrah continued his impactful spell, delivering a raging yorker to dismiss Ollie Pope for 23 runs and completing a hat-trick of wickets by removing Jonny Bairstow.
While Ravichandran Ashwin and Mukesh Kumar had a less productive day, yet to claim a wicket, the overall bowling unit performed well, led by Kuldeep Yadav’s remarkable comeback in his first Test appearance since December 2022. India’s bowlers, including Bumrah and Patel, showcased their prowess, ensuring a challenging day for England despite a standout batting performance from one player.