Kuldeep Yadav’s career has been on a free fall since the 2019 IPL and the left-arm leg-spinner, who was hailed by head coach Ravi Shastri as India’s first-choice overseas spinner in early 2019, doesn’t even warrant a permanent place in the playing 11 anymore.
While some have suggested that the unraveling of his ‘mystery’ by opposition batsmen is the reason behind his decline, others believe that it’s the absence of MS Dhoni, who used to give regular advice from behind the stumps, as his undoing.
Kuldeep, who was ignored by the selectors for the upcoming WTC final and Test series against England, recently admitted that he and Yuzvendra Chahal miss MS Dhoni’s experience.
”Sometimes I miss that guidance because he (Mahi) has a great experience. He used to guide us behind the wicket, kept screaming! We miss his experience,” Kuldeep Yadav said in an interview with Indian Express.
“Rishabh is there now, the more he plays, the more input he will give in the future. I always felt every bowler needs a partner who can respond from the other end,” Kuldeep added.
Not only Kuldeep Yadav but his former partner-in-crime Yuzvendra Chahal has also been under constant decline in the past 12-18 months.
Hailed as India’s first-choice spin-pair in white-ball cricket not so long ago, the duo don’t even feature together in the playing 11 anymore, something Kuldeep also pointed out during the interview.
“When Mahi bhai was there, I and Chahal were playing. Ever since Mahi bhai left, Chahal and I haven’t played together. I played only handful of games after Mahi bhai left,” he further said.
Kuldeep also alluded to him playing only a handful of ODIs since the retirement of MS Dhoni.
“I must have played ten-odd games. I had even taken a hat-trick. If you look at the performance as a whole, it will look pretty decent but if one breaks it up then my performance sometimes can look not up to the mark,” he signed off.
Since the last World Cup, Kuldeep Yadav has featured in 12 ODIs in which he has managed 12 wickets at an average of 58.41 and an economy rate of 6.31.