Legendary spinner Shane Warne has given his take on India head coach Ravi Shastri’s comments that Kuldeep Yadav is India’s number one spinner outside India.
A few days ago, Ravi Shastri had caused a stir in the cricketing circles by openly stating that Kuldeep Yadav is ahead of senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the pecking order in overseas Tests. While Shastri’s comments did sound a bit harsh but one cannot blame him for that. Ashwin has constantly failed to live up to the expectations outside India. His form at home and outside has been nothing short of a puzzle.
In away Tests last year, Ashwin averaged over 30 and conceded 2.38 runs an over. He was one of the three bowlers to have bowled over 300 overs in away matches in 2018 but he had very little to show for it. What has further made things tough for Ashwin is his poor fitness. Last year, he missed five important overseas Tests including three in Australia. Kuldeep Yadav then piled more pressure on his senior teammate by starring with the ball in the Sydney Test against Australia.
After warming the bench in the first three games, Kuldeep got a chance in the fourth and he grabbed it with both the hands. He finished the first innings with five wickets for 99 runs as India bowled Australia out for 300 to take a 322-run first innings lead and enforce the follow-on in the process.
Later, Shastri made the team-management’s thinking clear by stating that Kuldeep will be preferred over Ashwin in overseas Tests.
“He plays overseas Test cricket and he gets five wickets, so he becomes our primary overseas spinner. Going ahead, if we have to play one spinner, he is the one we will pick,” Shastri had told Cricbuzz.
And now Shane Warne has given his opinion on the matter. And just like Shastri, Warne has also backed Kuldeep although the Australian legend admitted that he is biased when it comes to picking between wrist spinners.
“Look, I am biased. I want spinners to play all the time. Play as many spinners whether it’s off spin, leg spin. But the more leg spinners, the better for me. I think it’s a proven fact that leg spinners can help win you games in all conditions, home or away. So I hope India stick with spinners and Kuldeep gets a spot in any condition because he is a class act,” Warne told India Today.