At the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav had the Sri Lanka batters dancing to his tunes, picking 3/51 in his ten overs and set the base for a four-wicket victory to take India towards an unassailable 2-0 series victory.
"I am happy with my performance. Since the last one year, I have been trying to back my strength and not think much. Whenever I get my chance, I just think about performing well.
I am enjoying my bowling a lot," said Kuldeep in the post-match presentation ceremony, on being awarded Player of the Match award. Kuldeep played the match in Kolkata after leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal missed due to a sore right shoulder.
He made full use of the opportunity by spinning a web around the Sri Lanka batters in the middle overs and trapping them with ease through his speed, variations and control.
He struck in his very first over by breaking the 73-run stand between Nuwanidu Fernando and Kusal Mendis by trapping the latter lbw with a top-spinner. He then bowled captain Dasun Shanaka around his legs when he was shaping up to play a sweep.
Kuldeep then foxed Charith Asalanka with his dip to complete a simple caught and bowled dismissal. "The team combination matters, so I just try to give my best whenever I get my chance.
I bowl the faster in the IPL and T20Is also to give the batter one run. So I just did that here also," he added. After being impressive with the ball, Kuldeep struck two fours in his 10 not out, one of which was the winning runs to give India a hard-fought victory.
Apart from batting and fitness work, Kuldeep also credited Chahal for helping him with intel on the Sri Lankan batters. "I have worked on my batting a lot of late. Same with the fitness.
Whenever I get time, I go to the NCA. So thanks to the trainers there. That's one thing I have tried to do in the last one year. Earlier, I wasn't much into it. Chahal too gave me inputs about their batters."