Former India off-spinner, Pragyan Ojha feels that Kuldeep Yadav had a good chance of playing the ongoing day-night Test in Adelaide against Australia. Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first. However, the playing eleven was announced a day before the game. India has gone in with a lone spinner, their premier off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ravindra Jadeja was earlier ruled out of the match due to a concussion and a hamstring strain he suffered in the first T20I. Kuldeep Yadav had a strong claim for a spot in the eleven- considering he picked a five-wicket haul in his last Test match a couple of years ago in Sydney, as well as the head coach, Ravi Shastri after India’s victory lauded Kuldeep as their ‘number one overseas spinner’.
Despite taking a five-fer in his last Test, the leggie hasn’t played a single Test since. Away from home as well, in New Zealand, Ashwin and Jadeja were picked ahead of him.
DIfficult for a batsman to pick a leg-spinner with the pink ball: Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha opined that Kuldeep could have been selected in the day-night Test played with the pink ball. Ojha underpins that batsmen have found it difficult to pick Kuldeep in pink ball Duleep Trophy matches during the third session.
Speaking to Sports Today, Pragyan Ojha said, “Only thing which goes in favor of Kuldeep Yadav is when we were playing Duleep Trophy, the first pink-ball domestic tournament that we played, all the batsmen that I spoke to and especially during the twilight found it very difficult to pick the ball from his hands.”
The 34-year-old points out that during the last session of the day the sunlight dims and the floodlights are turned on. Ojha asserts that a quality batsman like Ajinkya Rahane has as well found it challenging to bat in the last hour of the day. Hence, the former spinner believes that chinaman or leg-spinner like Kuldeep Yadav are a threat to the batsman in day-night matches.
“Because you know the natural light was going down and the artificial light was coming. That is the time when even Ajinkya Rahane said that all batsmen need to be switched on. Those 40-45 minutes are very important. That’s when Kuldeep used to pick wickets. And chinaman bowlers or leg spinners are a little difficult to pick,” Pragyan Ojha added.
India lost Prithvi Shaw on the second ball of the day as he inside-edged a Mitchell Starc delivery back on the stumps. Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal currently hold the fort and are building up a steady solid partnership.