Former India opener, Aakash Chopra opines that Kuldeep Yadav should look to change franchises and move away from Kolkata Knight Riders as he is not getting game time playing for KKR. Chopra’s comments came after Kuldeep was omitted from India’s playing eleven for the ongoing Test against Australia in Brisbane.
Kuldeep Yadav has been on the sidelines for a long time since the 2019 World Cup and has distributed appearances; he is no more a first-choice bowler for India, not even in limited-overs, let alone Test.
Aakash Chopra has a perception that since Kuldeep had poor IPL seasons for the last couple of seasons, the management believes his confidence will be low in Tests as well. Once the spine of KKR’s bowling, the chinaman was picked for nine games in 2019 IPL and just 5 matches for 2020 IPL picking 5 wickets in two seasons combined.
Last season, a mystery spinner, Varun Chakravarthy was KKR’s lead bowler with 17 wickets, outshining even Sunil Narine and Pat Cummins. Chakravarthy was selected for the T20s against Australia – and he would have likely made it into the eleven considering he was picked on his IPL form – however, an injury ruled him out; another youngster, T Natarajan grabbed the opportunity.
You don’t become a better bowler by just sitting on the sidelines: Aakash Chopra
Kuldeep Yadav hasn’t played a Test since his 5-wicket haul in Sydney in January 2019 – Ravi Shastri termed the leg-spinner as ‘India’s first-choice overseas spinner’.
However, he has lost his place and is left in the wilderness as Washington Sundar made his debut after injuries to Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin while the KKR spinner warms the bench.
Hence, Aakash Chopra feels that if Kuldeep wishes to make a comeback in the Indian team, he should prove his form with performances, which he can only do if he is in the playing eleven.
“He may also want to take a call with the Kolkata Knight Riders. And if he doesn’t want to be there then get released. Because in the end, he needs to play.
“There was one bad IPL that actually ruled him out of Test cricket is what I heard. The perception was that his confidence was so down that he can’t play in any other format. If all that is going to be in consideration, then you’ve got to play for a franchise that at least allows you to play,” Aakash Chopra told ESPNcricinfo.
“So where does he go from here? It’s going to be tough. If you don’t play, you don’t become a better bowler by just sitting on the sidelines and warming the bench. So you feel for him,” Aakash Chopra added.