Kuldeep Yadav in action© AFP

India brutally thrashed South Africa by 106 runs in the third and final T20I on Thursday as the three-match series ended in a draw. After the first match got washed out due to the rain in Durban, South Africa won the second T20I by five wickets (DLS method) and gained 1-0 lead. However, the visitors bounced back in style and registered a thumping win. India posted 201/7 with skipper Suryakumar Yadav smashing a record-breaking century. Later, Kuldeep Yadav took a five-wicket haul as India bundled out the Proteas for 95.

After the match, Kuldeep revealed how he dealt with the heartbreak of losing the ODI World Cup final against Australia, last month.

“Starting was really difficult. The first 7 to 10 days were really tough. Whenever I was waking up, the thought of losing the World Cup final was haunting me. But life changes and moves on. I got an opportunity to play in South Africa, I last played here in 2018 so I knew the conditions well,” Kuldeep said during the post-match press conference.

Kuldeep, who was celebrating his 29th birthday on Thursday, achieved a big record as he became the second India bowler to take multiple five-wicket hauls in T20I format. He has no joined hands with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

“It turned out to be a special day. I have never thought about taking five wickets. I just wanted the team to win which is more important. I was concerned about my bowling because I was playing after sometime, so wanted to get my rhythm. It was perfect today. The ball was coming out well from the hand and the conditions too suited the spinners a bit,” said Kuldeep.

Both the teams will now be squaring off against each other for a three-match ODI series, starting from December 17. Wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul will be leading the visitors in the series and it also marks the return of Sanju Samson and Yuzvendra Chahal to India’s squad.

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