April 15, 2023

Matt Kuhnemann gets ‘awesome tips’ from Ravindra Jadeja

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Ravindra Jadeja is a man of his word. The India allrounder had promised Australia spinner Matt Kuhnemann a masterclass after the Border-Gavaskar series – and he did just that.

As soon as the fourth Test in Ahmedabad ended in a draw on Monday, Jadeja made time to speak to the Australian newcomer. A self-confessed “massive fan” of Jadeja, Kuhnemann revealed after taking 5 for 16 in the third Test in Indore that he spoke with Jadeja after his debut in Delhi.

“I said, ‘Have you got any tips for me after the (second) Test?’ He said, ‘Yes, at the end of the series’,” Kuhnemann had said in Indore.

The left-arm spinner was still buzzing on Tuesday about playing three Tests on his debut tour, after only flying over to join the squad following Australia’s series-opening defeat in Nagpur.

Adding to it all, Kuhnemann was nicknamed “Jaddu” by his Sheffield Shield team-mates after running through South Australia in a game for Queensland in 2021.

“It was probably about 15 minutes, he (Jadeja) was just giving me some awesome tips; we talked about everything,” Kuhnemann told AAP. “Nathan Lyon helped organised it (the chat) as well. He (Jadeja) was really impressed with Todd (Murphy), Gaz (Lyon) and myself so that was really cool to hear that from him.

“He gave me some good tips for the next time we’re in the subcontinent, and some tips to go back home with as well. He was really nice, and just said any time to reach out and even sent me a message on Instagram, so that was pretty cool.”

Interacting with some of the game’s greats during a whirlwind month has only fuelled the 26-year-old’s hunger and desire to keep improving at international level.

Kuhnemann, Lyon and Murphy received the ultimate praise from Indian coach Rahul Dravid after the series, calling the Aussie trio the best spin attack the hosts had faced in their own conditions for more than a decade. All three had their turn taking bags of wickets across the four Tests, claiming 45 scalps between them, headlined by Lyon’s 22.

“The way that it happened, I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Kuhnemann said. “Nathan Lyon took myself and Todd under his wing from the get-go, he was pretty much like a big brother to us over here.

“I think we’re very lucky to have Gaz and his experience to learn off. I’m ready to get back in the nets, get back in there after speaking to Jadeja. I’m really keen to tinker with a couple of things, trying just to keep improving my skills and play as much cricket as I can.”

If all of that wasn’t enough, Kuhnemann put his hand up to open as a nightwatch-opener during Australia’s second innings in Ahmedabad after Usman Khawaja was troubled by a leg injury. Kuhnemann became the first Australian to open and bat at No. 11 in the same Test match since Percy Hornibrook against England in 1929.

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