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Yadav elated by special delivery to dismiss Babar
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Yadav elated by special delivery to dismiss Babar

India spinner Kuldeep Yadav has labeled his delivery that knocked out Pakistan batsman Babar Azam as a "dream delivery" for any spinner.

Yadav played a key role in India's victory over arch-rivals Pakistan at Old Trafford on Sunday with India achieving a commanding win by 89 runs under the DLS method in the rain-curtailed match.

Yadav's sharp turning delivery sneaked in through Babar's defensive shot as the ball nipped between bat and pad to finish a solid 104-run partnership between him and Fakhar Zaman, who contributed with 62 runs.

"Getting Babar Azam out was the best delivery for me in this tournament. I got him out in the Asia Cup as well," Yadav told reporters.

"After the rain break I went back and watched that delivery. It had drift and turn, so any spinner will love that delivery.

"It's a proper dream delivery and a proper Test delivery. Deceiving the batsman in the air and making him commit the mistake. A perfect delivery," he happily claimed.

Yadav returned strongly in the proceeding over too as he dismissed Pakistan opener Fakhar, who tried an ambitious sweep towards fine leg but in the process ended up top-edging to the fielder in the circle.

All-rounders Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya also bowled tightly taking two wickets each making up for Bhuvneshwar Kumar's injury that forced him to withdraw the field in the 5th over of the innings.

"Both Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman play spin well. They were rotating the strike and were attacking, so it was important to break that partnership," said Yadav.

"Getting Babar out and then another wicket put them under pressure and according to DLS they needed a very high run-rate and that was a plus point for us."

There were doubts over Yadav's declining form that saw him fare poorly in the latest season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but he has proved his critics wrong in style.

'I did not lose my rhythm'

Kuldeep had bowled impressively during India's six-wicket victory over South Africa, picking up one wicket in a frugal spell.

"Everyone is talking about my rhythm. I don't think I lost my rhythm. It happens when you don't pick wickets but the last three games I have bowled really well," he said.

"In the game against Australia they were struggling to hit me and that's important for any spinner."

India vice-captain Rohit Sharma was at his belligerent best as he top-scored with 140 off 113 balls to take his team's total to a colossal 336 for five in 50 overs.

Sharma was also all praises for India's wily left-arm spinner, outlining Yadav’s habit of giving them key breakthroughs in the middle overs.

"He's our match-winning bowler in that middle over phase, and today also you saw how important those crucial wickets were," said Sharma.

"Both the batsmen were set. Of course, he didn't start the tournament the way he would like to, but for us as a group around him, our job is to just make sure that he gets that confidence, he gets that backing from the team."

Yadav averages an astonishing 22.50 in ODI cricket so far, bosting 90 scalps in 47 games.