The Eventful Cricket Journey of Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav has emerged as one of India’s leading spin bowling talents in recent years. Hailing from Kanpur, Kuldeep is a rare left-arm unorthodox spinner with prodigious turn and drift. He has enjoyed success across formats with his tricky wrist spin since his international debut in early 2017. According to a cricket sports update, Kuldeep was the quickest Indian spinner to 100 ODI wickets. However, he has also encountered rough phases including loss of form and fitness issues. As he battles to regain his spot in the Indian team, let’s revisit the eventful cricket journey of Kuldeep Yadav.

Early Life and Domestic Career

Kuldeep Yadav was born in 1994 in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He had a keen interest in cricket from childhood inspired by his coach Kapil Pandey. Kuldeep trained at the Kanpur Cricket Academy as a youngster before making rapid progress at the U-16 and U-19 level. He made his List A debut for Uttar Pradesh in 2011. 

Yadav rose to prominence when he took 8/103 on Ranji Trophy debut in 2012 against Karnataka. His left-arm wrist spin flourished in domestic cricket over the next few years. In IPL 2015, Kuldeep had a breakout season for KKR which put him on the national selectors’ radar.

International Debut

After consistent domestic performances, Kuldeep earned his maiden national call-up for the tour of West Indies in mid-2017. He made an instant impact taking 3/50 on T20I debut at Sabina Park. This led to his ODI debut soon after in the same tour where Kuldeep claimed his first international five-wicket haul.

His exploits in Windies cemented his position as India’s frontline spinner for the upcoming limited overs series against Australia at home. Kuldeep did not disappoint, bamboozling the visitors with his guile and variations.

Rise to Prominence

Kuldeep Yadav truly arrived on the international stage during the 2017/18 tour of South Africa. In his very first over of the ODI series, Kuldeep castled veteran Hashim Amla with a ripper. This set the tone for more success as he constantly outfoxed the Proteas. 

Kuldeep finished as the highest wicket-taker in the ODI series with 17 victims at a miserly average of 14. His exploits included a career-best 5/24 at Wanderers that demolished South Africa for a paltry 200. The left-arm spinner’s wizardry made him an overnight sensation.

England Conquest

The 2018 England tour proved to be an important milestone. Kuldeep bamboozled England’s batsmen across formats with his guile and variations. He was instrumental in India’s ODI series victory emerging as the leading wicket-taker with 9 scalps at just 19. 

Kuldeep also enjoyed a successful maiden Test tour of England. His 6/25 at Trent Bridge opened up England’s middle-order before India raced to victory. Overall, Kuldeep finished with 18 wickets, playing a key role in a historic series win.

Dominating in IPL

Alongside international success, Kuldeep has enjoyed fruitful IPL stints with KKR. He is their leading wicket-taker with 98 scalps, including best figures of 5/18. In 2019, Kuldeep picked up 17 wickets and his economy rate was just 6.16 over 9 games. 

His productive IPL performances led to an INR 5.8 crore contract with Delhi Capitals for IPL 2021. Kuldeep relished bowling in tandem with Axar Patel and bagged 21 victims that season.

Loss of Form

While Kuldeep was soaring initially, his form tapered off after the England tour. A dip in confidence and injuries led to him being dropped from India’s limited overs squads. Kuldeep also lost his rhythm in IPL 2020, taking just 1 solitary wicket from 5 matches before being dropped. 

With Yuzvendra Chahal emerging as India’s lead spinner and Sundar excelling, Kuldeep faded from the selectors’ radar. He was no longer an automatic starter. Battling form and fitness, Kuldeep’s career had reached a crossroads by 2021.

The Road to Redemption

After setbacks, Kuldeep has been working hard to reclaim his spot in the Indian team. He enjoyed a fairytale comeback in IPL 2022, snaring 21 wickets in just 14 matches to finish as DC’s leading wicket-taker. His 4/35 spell demolished Punjab’s top-order.

Kuldeep earned an international recall after three years during India’s tour of the West Indies in mid-2022. He made an immediate impact taking 3/8 on T20I return. Kuldeep also returned to the ODI squad against Zimbabwe, showing he was regaining his touch and guile. 

With renewed focus, Kuldeep seems to be turning a corner and reviving his international career. India will hope he can replicate past exploits. Now aged 28, his prime years are still ahead.

Unorthodox Style and Strengths

Kuldeep has an unorthodox action with a short run-up and fast mechanics that generate good spin and pace. His flexible wrist allows him to impart plenty of turn even on unresponsive surfaces. Constantly varying his lines and lengths, Kuldeep uses flight intelligently to deceive batters. 

He can get the ball to drift away or come back in sharply. The odd straight ball that skids on keeps batters guessing. Kuldeep also mixes in a deceptive wrong ‘un that turns the other way. With so many variations, he is a tricky customer for even the best players of spin.

Key Achievements

– Kuldeep is the fastest Indian spinner to reach 100 ODI wickets doing so in just 58 games.

– He has over 150 international wickets from 97 matches highlighting his efficacy.

– His 5/24 against South Africa was at that time the best figures by any spinner in T20Is. 

– Kuldeep was part of India’s historic ODI series victory in South Africa in 2018.

– He played a starring role in India’s 2018 Test series win in England.


Kuldeep Yadav’s journey has seen great highs of stardom after debuting as well as demoralizing lows when he lost his place. His prodigious natural talent, variations and wicket-taking prowess catapulted Kuldeep to fame as arguably India’s finest spinner before he lost his way. 

As per the cricket taja update, his recent resurgence in domestic cricket indicates Kuldeep is still hungry. If he can sustain form and fitness, another chapter of international success could await. Irrespective of the future, Kuldeep will always be remembered for the wonderful wrist spin wizardry that made him an overnight sensation.

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