On Thursday, in the second ODI of the 5-match series, Australia were comfortably cruising towards leveling the series 1-1 in Eden Gardens, Kolkata, when the wrist spinners of India struck gold.
The team from Down Under were off to a horrendous start and were at one time tottering at nine runs for the loss of two wickets due to a fiery spell from India's premier swing bowler, Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Though the Aussies managed to string in a couple of solid partnerships, Yuzvendra Chahal applied the brakes by taking wickets in crucial junctures.
However, the day belonged to the young Chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav, who returned figures of 3/54, taking consecutive wickets of Mathew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins in the 33rd over to become only the third Indian, after Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev, to record the rare feat in ODI cricket.
Accolades started pouring in for the hat-trick hero, Kuldeep, and other shining performers in the Indian cricket team from former cricketers and greats of the game,
The legendary Sachin Tendulkar and former captain Sourav Ganguly led the applause as the left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav drew all-round praise for his match-winning hat-trick against Australia in the second ODI.
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) September 21, 2017
Ganguly on his part said, "It was a special spell. He bowled brilliantly. He still has a long way to go and is an asset for the team."
Incidentally Kapil's feat in the 1991 Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka had also come at the Eden, which was a witness to Harbhajan Singh's famous hat-trick during the 2001 Kolkata Test against Australia.
Asked to compare Harbhajan's hat-trick with that of Kuldeep's, Ganguly, who was the then captain of the Indian team, didn't wish to get into comparisons. "I don't want to compare, it's not easy to get a hat-trick," Ganguly, who led India to the remarkable victory in 2001 Test against Australia, added.
However, Harbhajan Singh himself lauded the new spinner on the block,
Congratulations @imkuldeep18 on your terrific achievement at the special venue #EdenGardens always have something special to offer #Hattric — Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) September 21, 2017
Kuldeep's IPL captain Gautam Gambhir also seemed ecstatic with his performance.
Former cricketer Mohammad Kaif was also effusive in his praise for the spinner from his home state of Uttar Pradesh.