Hat-trick hero Kuldeep Yadav described his memorable feat against Australia in the second ODI here as a “special” effort and said he had never dreamt of achieving it.
Left-arm spinner Kuldeep today became only the third Indian to take a hat-trick as the hosts demolished Australia by 50 runs here.
“Not really,” replied Kuldeep when asked if he had ever thought of taking a hat-trick.
“This is special for me, it changed the game for us. It was a really proud moment,” he added.
He said initially he was struggling to bowl in a particular area.
“Initially I was struggling to bowl in a particular area. It’s a game of cricket, everything happens. Last match, where I was hit for three sixes in an over, was a learning experience. I asked Mahi bhai (M S Dhoni) what I should bowl, he said ‘tujhe jaisa lagta hai wo daal (you bowl what you want)’,” said the 22-year-old Uttar Pradesh player.
Winning captain Virat Kohli said at the innings break he did not feel his side had enough on the board.
“We did not feel like we had enough at the break. But we knew if we had a good start we have a good chance of defending it. We knew if we don’t take wickets it would be difficult. To be honest, the wicket was not easy to bat on throughout the day,” he said.
Praising his bowlers, Kohli said, “Bhuvi’s (Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s) spell became even more important because we knew the wrist-spinners would do damage in the middle. The deliveries he got the batsmen out with were unplayable. You can count on Bhuvi for getting the breakthroughs.
“Two young spinners bowling with a lot of heart, speaks volumes about their characters. Really augurs well for us how the team is shaping up,” said the captain who was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his 107-ball 92 in India’s 252 all out.
Talking about himself, Kohli said, “I always try to create that kind of motivation for myself. Sometimes things don’t come off for you but I try and stay in the same zone.
“It was not easy to bat, plus the bowling attack was quality as well. Came off today, so it looked nice. Did not come off in Chennai, so it did not look nice.”
Australia captain Steve Smith admitted that his batsmen made poor decisions.
“We were pretty happy with 250, we thought we pulled things back pretty well (in India innings). To reduce India to 250 on that was pretty good. Did a really good job there,” he said.
“Batters though made poor decisions, and you can’t do that against a quality team like India. One of the top four needs to go on and make a hundred, just making poor decisions under pressure. We need to get those partnerships. if we do that then we should chase these totals down comfortably.
“(Marcus) Stoinis was good at the end there, just needed someone to bat with.”
Smith also said India have “got all bases covered”.