Watch: A brutal onslaught by Moeen Ali in the IPL 2019 has been cited as one of the contributing factors behind the dip in form of Kuldeep Yadav in recent times.
The England all-rounder blasted the left-arm wrist-spinner for 26 runs in five balls while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore. While Kuldeep dismissed Moeen off the final ball of the over, he was seen being comforted by Nitish Rana with tears in his eyes in the aftermath, and later admitted that the blitz made him “very emotional”. RCB ended up putting on a match-winning total of 213-4.
Before the 2019 IPL, Kuldeep was rated as one of the best spinners in the world. In the ICC’s ODI and T20I rankings, he was ranked third and second respectively, while after claiming five wickets in India’s series-sealing draw against Australia at the SCG, head coach Ravi Shastri said he was no India’s “frontline No.1 overseas spinner” in Tests.
Since that mauling, Kuldeep’s star has been on the wane. That was the last game he played in IPL 2019, and he only played five games in the 2020 edition. While he started the 2019 Cricket World Cup in India’s team, by the end of the tournament he had been ousted from the XI by Ravindra Jadeja. He has only played one Test since the 2019 event too, bowling just 12 overs in a 10-wicket victory over England. India’s other two spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, bowled nearly 80 overs between them. He has also only played three T20Is since that event, conceding over 10 an over in those games.
Of course, this could all be a coincidence, and there are myriad possible reasons for Kuldeep’s dip in form. If nothing else, however, watching Moeen take down a spinner is one of the most destructively beautiful things in world cricket, so it’s worth reliving the barrage anyway.
Watch Moeen destroy Kuldeep below:
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