ODI World Cup 2023: India's Kuldeep Yadav says early wicket key to get on top of NZ in semifinals at Wankhede
The article discusses Kuldeep Yadav's insights on the challenges for bowlers at Wankhede Stadium, the importance of securing early wickets in the ODI World Cup 2023 semifinal against New Zealand, and his focus on process and strengths despite the pressures of a knockout match.
In anticipation of their ODI World Cup 2023 semifinal against New Zealand, Indian left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav emphasized the challenges for bowlers at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. He stated that securing early wickets would be crucial for the hosts to gain an advantage over the Kiwis. The much-anticipated clash between India and New Zealand is scheduled for Wednesday in Mumbai.
"It is a difficult venue to bowl. The bounce is true and batsmen often dominate there. Unlike in T20, of course, the bowlers have plenty of time to come back into the game," said Kuldeep after India defeated the Netherlands by 160 runs to finish their league engagements on an all-win note. "But yes, you need a couple of early wickets to get on top of the game and opponents."
The upcoming match against New Zealand will mirror their 2019 semifinal in Manchester, where the Kiwis emerged victorious by 18 runs. Despite this, Kuldeep emphasized not placing excessive importance on past records.
"The 2019 semifinals (against NZ) was four years ago. We have played a lot of bilateral series after that, so we know the conditions (in India) and so do they. Our preparation has been good and we have been able to play good cricket throughout the tournament. So, we expect to continue in the same vein in the next match as well," he said.
Playing a crucial role in India's spin department, Kuldeep has secured 14 wickets in nine matches with an impressive economy rate of 4.15. Despite the pressures of a knockout match, Kuldeep emphasized focusing on honing his strengths.
"I just work on my rhythm and strengths and focus on how batsmen are trying to play me. My aim is to land the ball on the good length area as much as possible. I just keep focusing on the process rather than on wickets. Hopefully, it will work in the next match also," he added.