India’s left-arm legspinner, Kuldeep Yadav continues to warm the bench as he was yet again left out of the team. Yadav, who was considered a front runner for the first Test in Chennai was dropped from the side as India played three spinners including two off-spinners. The chinaman last played a Test in Australia and even registered a five-wicket haul.
But ever since, he has been sidelined from the team. Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh asserts that he is “astonished” by the selection call. Singh explains that Kuldeep’s inclusion would have brought variety to the bowling attack which features two off-spinners. Given that the pitch for the game is a flat one, Kuldeep could have proved to be a game-changer.
“It was astonishing for me to see Kuldeep Yadav not get a chance in Team India’s playing XI despite him being in the squad. I can understand that since Axar Patel is injured, Shahbaz Nadeem came in as a like-for-like replacement. But it doesn’t make sense to play two off-spinners in Chennai,” Harbhajan told Sports Tak.
“Kuldeep Yadav’s presence would have added a bit of variety to this Indian bowling attack. In the last two Tests that Kuldeep Yadav played, he had picked up five-wicket hauls. So I am completely baffled by his exclusion,” Harbhajan adds.
Not a great sign for his confidence
In the recently concluded Test series Down Under, the chinaman didn’t get a single game. Since his last Test, Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar have made their debuts whereas Axar Patel was also in-line to play in Chennai only for a knee injury to rule him out. Singh feels that such a treatment could dent his confidence seriously.
“This is also not a great sign for his confidence because it demoralizes you even further when you are a part of the squad but still can’t make it to the playing XI.“
India opted for three spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Sundar andNadeem for the match. They have plenty of work to do if they need to stop a rampant England side from posting a big score in Chennai. Barring Ashwin, the inexperienced duo of Sundar and Nadeem proved very expensive on day one as India struggled to cut off the run flow.