Shastri picks Kuldeep Yadav as primary overseas spinner: The Indian coach made a bold opinion on India’s overseas spinning options.
India’s recent Test series in Australia was the second time in their last two overseas Test series that their premier spinner played the first Test but didn’t end up playing the last Test of the series.
In England last year, Ravichandran Ashwin played the first four Test matches, picking up 11 wickets at an average of 32.72, an economy rate of 2.57 and a strike rate of 76.1. It was later known that he wasn’t fully fit during the fourth Test at Southampton.
Kuldeep Yadav being given a go in the second Test at Lord’s proved out to be a disastrous decision with respect to reading the pitch. It was eventually Ravindra Jadeja, who played in the last Test.
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) January 6, 2019
Kuldeep Yadav strikes in his first over as Alex Carey departs for 24. The UP lads are delivering for India in Sydney. Australia are 41/2 in 10 overs #AUSvIND
— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) January 12, 2019
In Australia, Ashwin once again started the first Test at Adelaide as India’s premier spinner but ended up getting injured. While India played four specialist fast bowlers at Perth, Jadeja was included in the third Test with Yadav to accompany him in the fourth Test at Sydney.
While Jadeja dismissed seven batsmen in a couple of Tests, Yadav made an instant impact by registering his second five-wicket haul in his only outing in the series. Keenly impressed with the chinaman bowler, India Coach Ravi Shastri has now termed him as India’s No. 1 spinner in overseas Tests.
“I was very impressed with the way Kuldeep bowled in Sydney. Even in Test cricket, it is going to be the age of wrist spin, especially in overseas Test cricket. The way he bowled in Sydney, he becomes our number one spinner in overseas Test cricket,” Shastri was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz in an exclusive interview.
Shane Warne took to Twitter to congratulate Kuldeep Yadav for his performance at Sydney.
— CricketNext (@cricketnext) January 6, 2019
#AUSvIND: A shortened day at Sydney due to rain saw Kuldeep Yadav bowling beautifully in his first appearance of this series.
How do things stand in this 4th Test?
Does India still have a chance to make it 3-1?
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 5, 2019
On being asked if one Test performance has changed his mind regarding such a major spot, Shastri highlighted him picking a five-fer being the reason behind the same.
“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. There is a time for everyone [referring to Ashwin’s poor fitness record in 2018]. But now Kuldeep is our frontline number one overseas spinner,” he added.