SOUTHAMPTON, June 3 -- Before he comes on to bowl, Kuldeep Yadav doesn't warm up by rotating his arms and shoulders like most bowlers do. Instead, he goes through the motions of his bowling action-the run in, the pivot, the flip of the wrist-and bowls invisible balls at the crowd. Usually fielding by the boundary, Kuldeep walks in alert as a colleague of his bowls to the batsman, and then on his way back to his fielding position, he air-bowls two or even three balls in rapid succession.

On the ground, this process makes for quite a spectacle, and often the crowd closest to where he is fielding tends to give Kuldeep a round of applause. During India's second warm-up game in Cardiff, when Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim nudged the ball towards ...