Kuldeep Yadav was consigned to the bench for the entirety of the recently-concluded Test series in Australia. Despite the absence of first-choice spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja due to their respective injuries in the series-decider at the Gabba, the team-management decided to pick rookie Washington Sundar ahead of the chinaman Kuldeep.
Washington Sundar made full use of his opportunity with both bat and ball in Brisbane but for Kuldeep, who was hailed as India’s first-choice spinner in overseas conditions by head coach Ravi Shastri during the 2018/19 Australian tour, it would have been a hard pill to swallow.
That said, skipper Ajinkya Rahane, during his address to the team post the win in Brisbane, had a few words of encouragement for the leg-spinner. Rahane urged Kuldeep to keep working hard besides stating that his time will come when India plays England on home soil.
Speaking to PTI, Irfan Pathan urged the Indian team-management to show confidence in Kuldeep as he feels that leg-spinner of the quality of the latter are pretty rare.
“It is very important from the team management point of view, how they keep mindset of a player, who is not playing. I am sure they must be doing a right job, and that’s why the guys, when we saw some of the youngsters, they came and played really well,” Irfan Pathan was quoted as saying by PTI.
“I am sure they must be supporting and backing Kuldeep Yadav because he has got immense talent. You don’t find left-arm wrist spinners on every-day-basis. He is a unique bowler. The guys is about 25-26 and this is where he is going to get maturity. Whenever he gets opportunity, first Test, second Test, whenever he will be raring to go and I am pretty sure that he will do well,” he added.
There has been a lot of talks regarding the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav in the playing 11 during the Test series against England. The visitors historically struggle against leg-spinners and Pathan feels that it is the perfect time for the home side to blood in the chinaman.
“When it comes to England, look at the history, if you are a leg-spinner, you always have a chance of performing well, I just hope that whenever he plays, he does really well and he does,” added Pathan.
Kuldeep Yadav has thus featured in six Tests for Team India, in which he has claimed 24 wickets. His last Test outing came against Australia at the SCG where he claimed a five-wicket haul.