Shikhar Dhawan (86*) and Ishan Kishan (59) starred with the bat as India defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the first ODI here at the R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday. With this win, India has gained a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The second ODI will now be played on Tuesday.
“Very happy that after a long time Chahal and I got to play together for the team. We are comfortable with each other and we back each other. We both share inputs on the field whenever it is required, the bonding is nice between both of us. We performed well together, we played after a long time and it augurs well for the side,” said Kuldeep while replying to an ANI query during a virtual post-match press conference.
“I was trying to vary my pace as the wicket was dry in the first innings. The wicket offered some assistance for the spinners, I was varying my pace depending on the batsmen. Very happy with the way team performed in this match,” added Kuldeep.
Earlier, India kept on taking wickets at regular intervals, but Chamika Karunaratne’s unbeaten 43-run knock helped Sri Lanka post 262/9. For India, Kuldeep, Chahal and Deepak Chahar returned with two wickets each.
“Nervousness is always there when you step out to the field. Rahul (Dravid) sir backed me and he motivated me. We talked a lot and he told me to enjoy my bowling and not worry about the result. I am happy that I performed well. Obviously you are nervous when you play cricket after a long time,” said Kuldeep.
A comprehensive 7-wicket win for #TeamIndia to take 1-0 lead in the series🙌How good were these two in the chase!… https://t.co/B3jWHoHTdp
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1626626774000
“We have come to play cricket here. We are lucky that we are getting to play cricket. There are many youngsters in the side (but) we are not worried about what anyone is saying. We are just here to enjoy our cricket. It is difficult to stay in bubbles. When you are not playing, there are doubts that can creep in. It’s sport at the end of the day, someone gets the chance and someone doesn’t,” he added.
When asked whether he thought his white-ball career has come to an end after a poor series against England, Kuldeep said: “You never think like that. There can be times when you go for runs and there are times when you take wickets. Many times I have taken 4-5 wickets in the match. It would be nice if people talk about that. One-two bad games don’t end up in your career being finished.”