Former Indian left-arm spin-bowler Pragyan Ojha has backed chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav to be a game-changer in the first Test in Adelaide where the first Test would be played with the pink-ball. Kuldeep Yadav is one of the frontline spinners along with the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja that India has taken to Australia. The retired cricketer feels that considering wrist-spinners have done well in Australia and his success with the pink ball, Kuldeep could be successful.
In the only Test that Kuldeep Yadav played in the 2018-19 Test series, he picked up a five-wicket haul, claiming the scalps of Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Tim Paine, Nathan Lyon, and Josh Hazlewood. Fast forward to the present; the 25-year old has not been able to deliver consistent performances even in the white-ball arena, preventing him find a regular spot. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that he took 17 wickets in three matches inaugural pink-ball Duleep Trophy campaign back in 2016.
While Pragyan Ojha lamented the injury to Ravindra Jadeja that will force him to miss the first Test, he acknowledged that Ravichandran Ashwin bowled well in the first warm-up game. The 34-year old termed Kuldeep Yadav as yet another X-factor since he found success in the pink-ball domestic tournaments. He revealed that the batsmen found it challenging to read his deliveries, mainly during the twilight period, helping him to take wickets.
“India will miss Ravindra Jadeja’s services due to the concussion injury. Thankfully, India have someone like R Ashwin who has been doing well. In the practice games, he picked up those wickets, bowled tight lines. There is one more person who can be a game-changer for India with the pink-ball is Kuldeep Yadav because in the domestic pink-ball tournaments, he was successful. Batsmen were finding it difficult to pick him. Especially during the twilight period, batsmen were struggling to read him. That’s when he picked up maximum wickets,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.
It’s important for the think tank to take care of Kuldeep Yadav: Pragyan Ojha
Ojha reckons that Kuldeep could pose a considerable threat to the home side even though he has not had much match practice, admitting that the think-tank needs to care for him more. The former Indian left-arm bowler praised Kuldeep as a marvellous prospect with excellent variations and historically, wrist spinners have performed better in Australia than finger spinners.
“If Kuldeep Yadav is playing, he will be difficult for the Aussies. If you see this year, there has not been much cricket due to the obvious reasons. The pandemic brought normal lives to a complete halt. Kuldeep couldn’t play consistently in the iPL. His match practice has not been great. It’s important for the think tank to take care of Kuldeep. Kuldeep Yadav can be India’s X-factor. He is a chinaman bowler with a lot of good variation. In Australia, historically, wrist-spinners have done better than finger spinners,” Pragyan Ojha added.