"I got my cap and was feeling blank," said spinner Kuldeep Yadav while talking about his Test debut for India.
Kuldeep had made his Test debut in 2017 against Australia at Dharamsala, and he went on to take four wickets in his first Test.
"It was an honour! I was on the bench for three matches but kept preparing myself with l sir (Kumble), our then coach. He backed me a lot. He exactly knew the kind of mindset young spinners have. I remember, a day before the debut, we were having lunch together. He told me, you are playing tomorrow and I want 5 wickets from you. I was a little intimidated but I confidently said that I would definitely take," the official website of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) quoted Kuldeep as saying.
"I was quite nervous but felt comfortable the moment all team members joined in. I got my cap and was feeling blank. It is a dream for all young cricketers to play Test cricket and my dream was coming true. I was pretty emotional. I remember I was fielding at deep square leg, and I was still nervous. But then I decided to just react normally like any other Ranji game," he added.
All of Kuldeep's four wickets came in the first innings against Australia.
The spinner managed to take the wickets of David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb, and Pat Cummins in the first innings of the fourth Test.
India managed to win that particular Test, and as a result, the side won the four-match series 2-1.
"When I came to bowl, Steve Smith hit a boundary off a googly in my second over and I realised the difference between international and state-level cricket. Following lunch, I just tried to be relaxed and give my best. I started strategizing my game and bowled a few slower ones to David Warner and then mixed it up with a flipper, feeling it might clean him up or trap him LBW. He played the cut straight to the slip," Kuldeep said.
"That was my first wicket. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and I got really emotional. My confidence rose and I got Handscomb and Maxwell too. Once the day got over, I spoke to Sachin sir and he told me a lot of things about how to approach the game. I was flooded with messages and calls. When I was lying on my bed at night and I started reflecting to realise how much I had to struggle to reach that point. I had tears of joy at that moment," he added.
Kuldeep has played 6 Tests in his career fo far, managing to take 24 wickets with his best returns being 5/57 against West Indies in 2018.
The spinner has also played 60 ODIs and 21 T20Is for the Men in Blue.
In ODIs, he has scalped 104 wickets while in the shortest format, he has 39 scalps to his credit.
The spinner would next be seen in action in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 as he would represent Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
The IPL 2020 is slated to be played in the UAE from September 19-November 10 across three venues -- Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.
( With inputs from ANI )
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