Even as Kuldeep Yadav credited MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli after picking up his maiden ODI hat-trick during India's 50-run win over Australia in Kolkata on Thursday, September 21, the young wrist-spinner's coach Kapil Pande feels the Indian captain missed an opportunity to encourage his ward.
Kuldeep was having an ordinary day against Australia on Sunday until the 33rd over of the visitors' 253-run chase. The 22-year-old dismissed Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins off successive deliveries to become only the third Indian after Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma to clinch an ODI hat-trick.
Steve Smith's men lost their last five wickets for 54 runs, much to the disappointment of the skipper.
Earlier on Thursday, Kohli led the hosts from the front with a well-made 92 on the Eden Gardens track that was two-paced. Even as wickets kept falling around him, the Indian skipper was in complete control of his innings until he chopped one onto the stumps, eight runs short of what could have been a record-breaking 31st ODI century.
There were quite a few strong performances on Thursday, including Bhuvneshwar Kumar's delightful opening spell. However, Kohli bagged the Man of the Match, which has not gone down well with Pande, who says the captain should have shared his award with Kuldeep.
"Kohli is a senior member of the team and he could have encouraged the junior players by sharing the honour," Pande told the Deccan Chronicle.
Coach wants Kuldeep to keep improving
Pande also revealed he had insisted that Kuldeep focus on maintaining an ideal line and length rather than trying too much in a bid for wickets after Thursday's game. He added his ward's feat on a pacer-friendly track in Kolkata "was remarkable".
"The wicket (at the Eden Gardens) was new and only helping the pacers and on this wicket the hat-trick achiever's performance was remarkable," the coach said.
He added: "Initially Kuldeep's bowling was not up to the mark. There was no proper line and length in his deliveries. I did bring this to his notice after the match when he called up and also advised him to concentrate only on proper line and length without worrying about the wickets. The wickets will come automatically."