Smith lauds execution as Australia eye series triumph

Posted March 26, 2017

But the session was all about the 22-year-old Kanpur boy.

Kuldeep did not just stop there and took the wicket of Peter Handscomb with a beauty of delivery luring him into a drive, the ball turned fiercely and rattled the stumps leaving everyone stunned.

The four-match series is pegged at 1-1.

On a day where Steven Smith yet again appeared to be batting on a different level to his team-mates, there were also timely half-centuries by David Warner - who was dropped on the first ball of the match - and Wade, in what was the first instance of either player passing 50 during the series. "So learning from Warne and then getting out his countryman is a nice feeling", Kuldeep replied cheekily as everyone had a hearty laugh.

Selectors were grasping for straws trying to find another Shane Warne and since Smith started off as a legspinner, he was given a punt.

"Dream come true for me".

India were woeful in the first session, fielding awfully, bowling without discipline and distinctly lacking intensity in the absence of firebrand skipper Virat Kohli, who was ruled out through injury. I did exactly what he told me to do.

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"Warne is my idol and I have followed him since childhood, even now I watch his videos".

Every Australian batsman, bar Smith, was flummoxed by the Chinaman bowler. Scoring his third century of the series, Smith along with Warner added 134 runs for the second wicket before Kuldeep weaved his spin magic.

And then, Kuldeep said something that indicated maturity beyond his years.

When Smith fell shortly before tea, held at slip after Ravichandran Ashwin got one to skid on from round the wicket and take the edge, Australia were in trouble at 208-6. Kuldeep was always touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket and on the first day of the Test he lived up to his reputation by picking up four wickets. "I don't bowl like that but I did not want him to know what I was bowling", said Kuldeep.

There is a strong Australian flavour in Kuldeep's game with former one-day specialist Brad Hogg also a major influence on the left-arm wrist spinner's career.

"Credit to the Indians for bowling well, we had to grind ourselves to get to 300", said wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade, who made 57. "Yeah, it took a couple of balls to get used to it".

Kuldeep Yadav, the Chinaman bowler became a sensation in a matter of sensation as he helped India get back into the virtual final of Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Dharamsala. So he was a bit upset that I was not being picked.