India’s left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has been having a sharp slump in form in recent times. Faring poorly across the entirety of the 12th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), it seemed the mystery spinner had lost his previous charm and batsmen were finding it easy to read his variations.
Fortunately for India, the youngster produced a magical spell of bowling against archrivals Pakistan in the high-pressure game of the World Cup. Just when the Pakistan batsmen Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam seemed to be bossing the proceedings with a wonderful century stand, Kuldeep delivered arguably the ‘ball of the tournament’.
He pitched a perfect leg-break just outside off-stump, inducing the set Babar to prod forward as the ball hissed past the gap between bat and pads and snapped the wickets. In the following over, Kuldeep got the huge breakthrough of Fakhar who looked solid in his 75-ball 62 and comprehensively swung the pendulum towards India.
While he could manage two wickets in the match, the 24-year-old’s extraordinary bowling spell triggered Pakistan’s collapse and their subsequent massive defeat.