Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir is surprised by the fact that the left-arm leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav was left out from the playing 11 for the 1st Test against England as Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri-led team-management went in with two off-spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar and left-arm orthodox in Shahbaz Nadeem.
Kuldeep Yadav did not play a single Test during the Australian tour even when the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja weren’t available in the series-decider at the Gabba with rookie Washington Sundar being preferred over the chinaman.
Both Ajinkya Rahane and bowling coach Bharat Arun had said after the match that Kuldeep’s time will come in the England series on home soil but that hasn’t been the case in Chennai.
Speaking on ESPNCricinfo, Gautam Gambhir said that India should played a wrist-spin option in the form of Kuldeep Yadav as he brings a lot of variety to the attack besides boasting of the ability to bowl game-changing spells.
Gambhir added that India should have looked to blood in Kuldeep from the very first Test itself rather than bringing him in the second half of the series.
“Little unfortunate for Kuldeep. I thought they should have actually picked Kuldeep against England. A wrist-spinner, a left-arm wrist-spinner which is a very rare commodity. He has been with the team but he hasn’t played any cricket, so Kuldeep would have been a great asset. Also, you got to use him first up in the series as well,” Gautam Gambhir said.
‘You don’t want someone like Kuldeep to be included in the second or third Test, because a lot of time you have seen how a wrist-spinner can actually turn the game. So, its unfortunate and a bit surprised as well that you are playing with two off-spinner. Yep! Probably they wanted a bit more depth in the batting department’ he added.
Kuldeep Yadav has thus far featured in just six Tests since making his debut in 2017, the last of which came over two years ago at the SCG.