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India v England 2024

‘Like a left-armed Shane Warne’ – Michael Vaughan bestows ‘best compliment’ upon Kuldeep Yadav

Michael Vaughan calls Kuldeep Yadav “left armed Shane Warne”
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

During the Ranchi Test match, former England captain Michael Vaughan heaped lavish praise on Kuldeep Yadav.

After putting up 353 at Ranchi, England had India at 177-7 before the hosts recovered to 307. Despite R Ashwin’s triple blow, England were favourites at 110-3 when Kuldeep Yadav bowled Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes in quick succession.

Kuldeep later dismissed Tom Hartley and Ollie Robinson to finish with 4-22. From 11 Test matches, he has 46 wickets at 21.82. Since 1960, the only spinner with more wickets at a better average is Axar Patel, the man Kuldeep kept out from the Indian XI.

As Kuldeep troubled the English batters, Michael Vaughan praised his performance. “He bowled like a left-armed Shane Warne,” said Vaughan.

Warne had an impact on Kuldeep the left-arm wrist-spinner’s early days in international cricket. When India won a series in Australia for the first time, in 2018/19, Warne often turned up at the Indian nets with words of advice for Kuldeep, the lone wrist-spinner in the Indian squad.

Kuldeep played only one Test match on that tour, at Sydney. “I want you to be happy at the ground,” Warne told him. “Just do it with a smile.” Kuldeep picked up 5-99, and dedicated the five-wicket haul to Warne.

Kuldeep admitted how surprised he was when he heard that his dedication had brought Warne to tears. When Warne passed away in 2022, Kuldeep admitted to breaking down as well. In 2023, Kuldeep posted a heartfelt birthday wish to Warne.

Kuldeep was not the only Indian spinner on whom Warne had an impact. Not too long after they won the first edition of the IPL together, Rajasthan Royals captain-coach Warne hailed Ravindra Jadeja as a “rockstar”. Jadeja, fresh out of Under-19 cricket, admitted to being in awe of the legend.

In his Under-19 days, Yuzvendra Chahal used to model his action on Warne’s, who was the reason Chahal used to support the Royals, for whom he plays for now.

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