Last Update on: October 3rd, 2023 at 04:25 pm
The way Kuldeep Yadav has performed in recent months, it would not be very wrong to say that he has become an indispensable part of the Indian team. Not many are expecting him to warm the bench during the ICC World Cup 2023. In fact, several experts including chief selector Ajit Agarkar have already called him India’s trump card for the competition.
He is currently the second-highest wicket-taker in ODIs this year. In 17 games, Kuldeep Yadav has picked up an impressive 33 wickets. In last month’s Asia Cup, he showed his class by taking a five-wicket haul against Pakistan before following it up with a four-wicket haul.
After struggling for months with his form in the last couple of years or so, Kuldeep Yadav has finally regained his form. It seems like a no-brainer that he would lead India’s spin attack in the upcoming World Cup, just like he did in the last edition.
Kuldeep Yadav not the first choice for Harbhajan Singh:
While Kuldeep Yadav is likely to be the first choice of the team management, India great Harbhajan Singh feels otherwise. The World Cup winner has said that it should be Ravichandran Ashwin who should be the first or second name on the sheet when picking the ideal Indian bowling attack. Ashwin was recently recalled into the ODI side after a gap of more than a year before he replaced the injured Axar Patel in the World Cup squad.
“People are realising that skill is more important. It’s not like an offspinner shouldn’t bowl to right-handers. Even I mentioned that Ashwin should play if the opposition has more left-handers, but that is what the management thinks? But if I was captain of the team or part of management, I would pick my five best bowlers and Ashwin would be first or second on that list,” Harbhajan said on ESPNcricinfo.
When he was asked to pick his preferred bowling line-up, Harbhajan Singh said: “If I had to pick today, it would be (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami, (Mohammed) Siraj, (Ravindra) Jadeja, Ashwin.”
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri, who was also a part of the discussion, echoed Harbhajan’s views and said that Kuldeep Yadav’s place in the playing eleven is not guaranteed.
“You have to be flexible,” Shastri said. “I will go one step ahead and watch the oppositions and think how they will play whom. And now that Ashwin is in the 15, it makes a challenge for the XI all the time.”
“Kuldeep is not a certainty, unless he comes in and starts off brilliantly. Yes, there is no question about Kuldeep’s performance. He has been bowling at his best after a long time but on a certain day and on a certain track, if the pitch is dry, you would want only two fast bowlers because there is Hardik Pandya as well,” he added.
India will open their World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai.