Former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta is left surprised that Kuldeep Yadav didn’t make even in the 20-man squad, plus the 4 reserves, which will travel to the UK for the World Test Championship final versus New Zealand and the following 5-Test series against England.
The leg-spinner has played just a solitary Test match since his five-wicket haul against Australia in January 2019, despite being touted as India’s first-choice overseas spinner by head coach Ravi Shastri.
He has been with the side touring since but could get very little game time – Washington Sundar and Axar Patel have played more games than Kuldeep after making their Test debuts in the last couple of series.
Their superior batting ability over that of Kuldeep has been one of the reasons for that. And now the leg-spinner is dropped altogether from the squad as Ravindra Jadeja returns after missing the home England series, where Kuldeep played his first Test in two years.
He has a lot of cricket left in him: Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta, however, believes that the chinaman’s skill set remains unique and full of mysteries, and should be backed more by the board and selectors.
Deep Dasgupta admits that Kuldeep’s performance has gone down in recent times, but he also hadn’t had a longer run with the national side like he got when he first burst on the scene forming a strong partnership with Yuzvendra Chahal.
The Indian team is also now scheduled for a white-ball tour of Sri Lanka in July where the players in England won’t be able to participate. Hence, Deep Dasgupta reckons that it would be an opportunity for the Kolkata Knight Riders spinner to remind everyone of his abilities.
“With Kuldeep, I am a little surprised (not picked for England tour). Because a year ago, he was the No. 1 spinner. Within a year, he is not on the contract list. He is not there on any side. He might be there in the side for Sri Lanka.
“But I am a little surprised. Obviously, his arc has gone down, his performances have gone down. I still believe that his skill set is very unique. And we need to keep investing in him,” Deep Dasgupta told Sports Today.
“I understand why he is not on the side, because of his performance. I still believe he is young. He has a lot of cricket left in him and he should not be left in the lurch, let to be on his own. We must back him.
“I hope so (he gets picked for the Sri Lanka tour). On the white-ball side, obviously someone like Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar and Kuldeep… they should all be there,” he added.