With Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal‘s recent performances coinciding with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja‘s average performance in limited-overs format in recent times, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels the latter two will find it tough to replace their younger teammates.
While both Ashwin and Jadeja are an indispensable part of the Test team, the same cannot be said as far as their roles in the limited-overs teams are concerned. While the selectors have claimed that the duo is being rested, the turn of events have suggested otherwise. Both the players were rested from the ODI teams for the series in Sri Lanka and the ongoing series against Australia after their poor performance in the Champions Trophy.
And perhaps as a result of Ashwin and Jadeja’s failures, the team management has tried out wrist spinners since the tournament in England and it has paid rich dividends. Chahal and Kuldeep were part of the team for the Sri Lanka series, and after their impressive performances in the island nation, they were retained for the ongoing series. Moreover, one can take a measure of the pecking order of spinners in the team right now from the fact that Ravindra Jadeja has warmed the bench in the first two games despite being included in the team as a replacement for Axar Patel.
So far, Kuldeep and Chahal have picked up ten wickets in the first two games against Australia with each of them taking five each while the former also took a hat-trick in the second game at the Eden Gardens. And their performances have impressed Harbhajan so much that he feels the duo will not be replaced soon.
“At the moment, these two boys (Kuldeep and Chahal) are really doing well and I don’t see them being replaced by Ashwin and Jaddu. You can’t predict what’s in store for the future,” he told PTI.
The veteran spinner also said that the wrist spinners could do well irrespective of the conditions.
“Wrist spinners have certain advantages which is not condition dependent. Chahal has a good googly and can get his leg breaks to turn sharply. Similarly, Kuldeep can also get it to turn both ways,” he said before adding: “His wrong ‘un is very effective. They have that x-factor required at the highest level.
Meanwhile, the Men in Blue are leading the series 2-0 lead after winning the second game by 50 runs in Kolkata. Batting first, the hosts posted a modest 252 on a tough Eden Gardens track before bowling the visitors out for 202.