India’s victory in the first ODI against West Indies showcased the brilliance of spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. The visitors bowled out the hosts for a meager 114 runs in just 23 overs. Kuldeep Yadav’s exceptional performance of 4 wickets in 3 overs earned him the Player of the Match award.
Former India opener, Wasim Jaffer, heaped praise on Kuldeep Yadav, highlighting his ability to outfox batting line-ups that struggle against spin. Speaking on ESPNCricinfo after the match, Jaffer emphasized that Kuldeep’s ability to generate turns both ways makes him a challenging proposition for opponents.
“If you can’t pick him, then you can’t play him. Sometimes, to a finger spinner, you know what’s coming out. But, with wrist-spinners, the ball can go both ways. That’s what happened,” said Wasim Jaffer.
The West Indies batsmen, apart from Shai Hope, found it difficult to read Kuldeep’s variations and succumbed to his spin. Jaffer praised Kuldeep’s ability to break partnerships and dismantle tailenders quickly, making him a formidable force when he is in rhythm.
During the match, Kuldeep Yadav’s spin partner, Ravindra Jadeja, also displayed his brilliance, claiming three crucial wickets, exploiting the spin and bounce on the pitch to trouble the West Indian batsmen.
“There was spin and bounce on the pitch. Watching it on TV, I could sense that Ravindra Jadeja is in the game. He obviously made it count. He generally doesn’t get that help. In ODIs, you normally get good batting wickets where teams score 280-300 or more. When he gets this kind of help, he’s dangerous,” Wasim Jaffer stated.
West Indies’ batting woes were evident in the first ODI, and they will be eager to stage a comeback in the series. The team’s recent failure to qualify for the ODI World Cup 2023 has added pressure to their performances. This will be the first time in history that the ODI World Cup will be played without the participation of the Caribbean team.