Rahul dominated the run chase, smashing 10 fours and five sixes, as India romped home with 10 balls to spare at Old Trafford.
Following an easy 2-0 drubbing of Ireland in the just concluded two-match T20I series in Dublin, Team India is on a big mission as it faces off against the mighty English side, which too has been in a phenomenal form of late.
However, from a relatively comfortable 95 for 1 in the 12th over, Kuldeep removed rival skipper Eoin Morgan (7), Jonny Bairstow (0) and Joe Root (0) in the 14th over, which prevented England from posting a competitive total on a placid track.
It was not until Kuldeep took over, though, that England hit the skids.
"We have actually been able to create flat wickets into wicket-taking wickets with the variety we have in the attack", skipper Kohli had said, referring to his wrist-spinners before the team departed for the United Kingdom tour.
It's his length which tests the batsmen, enticing them with flight and the ability to turn and dip the ball.
Containing the English batsmen will be India's primary focus and the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, who will miss the T20I series due to a fractured finger, comes as a blow for the visitors. The 23-year-old was in great from on the night, conceding just 23 runs from his nine overs and picking up four wickets - his best figures in ODIs.
Yadav was introduced into the attack in the 10th over with England on 72/1 and Jos Buttler on rampage.
Eoin Morgan holes out off Kuldeep Yadav's bowling.
"Obviously they (Bairstow and Root) are quality batsmen".
The second T20I will be played in Cardiff on Friday, and Kuldeep warned that a repeat performance is not a surety although he will strive for that.
Against a devastating England batting line-up, India were counting on their wrist-spin pair, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, to come good heading into the first of three T20Is.
England's batsmen were "completely deceived" by Kuldeep Yadav in the opening Twenty20 worldwide against India, conceded skipper Eoin Morgan, saying his side will have to revisit its plans on tackling the wrist spinner.
In the same series two games later, Kuldeep Yadav produced another four-wicket haul, which helped clinch the series.
"We were probably about 30 or 40 short", said Morgan.
England made a typically quick start to their innings, Jason Roy taking 16 from the first two overs before Buttler got off the mark by scooping an 87mph delivery from Umesh Yadav over the 'keeper's head for head. Kuldeep bowled well and we know he can bowl well.
They celebrated even more wildly three balls later when Yadav captured Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root without scoring in successive deliveries. And they play really well in their conditions. It could have gone the other way if we had taken our half chances, like Chris Jordan on the boundary, or if Rahul got caught at point early in the innings.
India captain Virat Kohli believes "lethal" left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav will have a pivotal role to play during the rest of his side's tour of England.