Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra has raised questions on India’s squad for the World Test Championship final and the subsequent five-match Test series against England. The BCCI was expected to announce a jumbo squad for the long tour and considering replacements if needed immediately but named only 20 players. But it is Kuldeep Yadav’s exclusion that irks Aakash Chopra the most.
India’s 20-member squad for England tour contains four spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, and Ravindra Jadeja – all finger spinners. Kuldeep Yadav, who head coach Ravi Shastri claimed was their first-choice spinners for the overseas Test series, has fallen into the pecking order after recent underwhelming performances. The IPL 2021 also saw the wrist-spinner getting no game for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Aakash Chopra referred to Kuldeep Yadav’s omission as harsh as having not played too much cricket; it seems absurd to conclude he does not make the cut. The 43-year old reminded that Kuldeep bowled in only one Test against England and picked up a couple of wickets and did not feature in the pink-ball Test. Thus, Aakash feels that it is unfair not to play him in the entire series.
“Personally, even Kuldeep Yadav’s exclusion is a little harsh. He has not played too much cricket, so to make the formal opinion that he does not make the cut, I feel that he is a little hard done by. He bowled only one Test against England, on a raging turner. Picked up a couple of wickets at the end. Did not play the pink-ball Test. Now he is not playing the entire series,” Chopra told ESPN Cricinfo.
In Covid times, you have the luxury of playing larger squads, so why not Kuldeep Yadav: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra thinks that in COVID times when India has the luxury of playing large squads, why not opt for Kuldeep Yadav as well. He also commented that the tourists have four finger spinners and have no leg-spinners, against who English batsmen usually struggle.
“Not just the WTC final, but also the five-match Test series against England. In Covid times, you have the luxury of playing larger squads, so why not Kuldeep Yadav. You get as many as four-spin bowling options – Ashwin, Jadeja, Sundar, and Axar Patel – but all of them are finger-spinners. So, why not a wrist-spinner against a side that tends to struggle against them,” he added.