In the thrilling first One-Day International (ODI) match between India and the West Indies, held at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados on July 27th, Kuldeep Yadav showcased an outstanding performance. The 28-year-old spinner was chosen over Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal for the series opener against the West Indies, and he certainly justified the selection by earning the well-deserved Player of the Match title. Kuldeep, a left-arm chinaman bowler, bowled an impressive three overs in the match and took four crucial wickets, leaving the opposition in awe.
Spinning a web over hapless Windies
During his three-over spell, Kuldeep delivered two maiden overs and conceded a mere six runs. His magic with the ball was evident as he struck in the 19th, 21st, and 23rd overs of the Indian innings, claiming at least one wicket in each of those overs. His brilliant bowling skills were on full display when he trapped Dominic Drakes (3) in front of the wickets in his first over, and then swiftly dismissed Yannic Cariah (3) with a leg-before-wicket (LBW) dismissal in his next over.
Not stopping there, Kuldeep continued to dominate in his third over, bringing an end to the West Indies innings by removing the hosts' captain, Shai Hope (43), and Jayden Seales (0). Shai Hope was dismissed LBW while attempting a reverse sweep on the third ball, and on the last ball, Jayden Seales was caught by Hardik Pandya at leg slip.
With remarkable figures of four wickets for just six runs in three overs, Kuldeep Yadav etched his name in the history books, as he now holds the record for the best-ever ODI bowling figures by an Indian on West Indies soil. Previously, four Indian bowlers had managed to take four wickets in an innings on West Indies soil in ODIs, namely Yuzvendra Chahal (4/17), Amit Mishra (4/31), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4/31), and Mohammed Shami (4/48). However, Kuldeep's exceptional performance surpassed them all.
While the West Indies holds the distinction of having two bowlers achieve a five-wicket haul in ODI matches played between India and the West Indies in their home ground, no Indian bowler has achieved this feat yet. Kuldeep Yadav's brilliant performance in this match has undoubtedly left a mark and highlighted his immense talent as a key asset for Team India in the series.