Former BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad answered some queries troubling the Indian team’s selection in regards to Kuldeep Yadav ahead of the second match of the four-match Test series, which will be played in Chennai as well, in front of the crowd, starting February 13. He also rubbished the claims of favouritism in the Indian team while others alluded to some players’ animosity with the captain.
Virat Kohli returned as captain of the Indian cricket team after a gap of six weeks and suffered a huge 227-run defeat at the hands of Joe Root’s England side in Chennai. Not only was the performance of the Indian team criticized, but Kohli’s selection decisions were also scrutinized as the bowlers failed to step up to the plate when needed.
Kohli decided to go in with Shahbaz Nadeem in a surprise selection, given that Kuldeep Yadav was in running to play his first Test since 2019. But with Akshar Patel getting injured on the morning of day 1, Kohli decided to add Nadeem, who was included as a net bowler, in the playing XI. Nadeem conceded 233 runs in 59 overs picking 4 wickets in the match in an underwhelming performance.
Also the selection of Ishant Sharma, who was coming off a long layoff, first due to COVID-19 and then after suffering an injury during the IPL 2020, over Mohammed Siraj, who was the highest wicket-taker for India in their victorious Test series against Australia.
Personal Issues Definitely Won’t Matter: MSK Prasad
In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, MSK Prasad tried to expound on the decision to keep Kuldeep Yadav out of the playing XI for the first Test between India and England. He also rubbished the reports that suggested favouritism in the Indian team while others indicated to some players’ enmity with the captain.
“Personal issues definitely won’t matter. I don’t think Virat will be thinking on those lines. Virat or the team management would have had different plans about the selection. Washington Sundar did extremely well in his last Test match. They must have thought of having an extra batsman who can bowl.
With regard to Nadeem, the stats show that England had a little tough time against left-arm spinners in Sri Lanka. Though they won the two Test matches, the left-arm spinners got a lot of wickets. So that’s the reason why they would have preferred Nadeem. My personal choice would have definitely been Kuldeep but the reason for Nadeem’s inclusion might be this,” said MSK Prasad.
Washington Sundar also failed with the ball, going wicket-less in the Test match, while making 85* with the bat in the first innings.