After snapping up five wickets against England in a practice game last month, Kuldeep Yadav, the young Chinaman bowler from Uttar Pradesh, was on the radar of the national selectors.
The bowler from Kanpur got his first call up to the India Test squad on Tuesday after leg spinner Amit Mishra was ruled out of the one-off game against Bangladesh due to a knee injury he suffered during the final T20 International against England in Bengaluru.
Kuldeep, 22, was expecting a call even when New Zealand toured as he had emerged the highest wicket-taker in Duleep Trophy and hit two half centuries.
“He (Kuldeep) was a bit disappointed but I told him he would have his day. It has finally happened,” his coach Kapil Pandey told HT.
Pandey, who advised Kuldeep to bowl Chinaman instead of pace in his early days in the game, said Kuldeep was mature enough to bowl against any batting side in the world. “Bowling with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will help India overpower Bangladesh easily,” he said.
“Kuldeep has been fantastic with his wrong one (left armer’s googly) and can be a key bowler for India on the slow surface in Hyderabad,” said Pandey. “He should be given a chance in the match. I am sure he will make the most of the opportunity.”
Kuldeep was included in the ODI squad for the 2014 series against West Indies but didn’t get to play. He took three wickets in the practice game against Bangladesh.
He has taken 81 wickets in 22 first-class games at an average of 33.11. “It’s a matter of great pride for us. I believe Kuldeep will do justice to his selection,” former selection committee member Gopal Sharma, a former Test off-spinner, told HT on Tuesday.
“We were expecting a call for him as he has been consistently doing well in all formats. The best part of his bowling is his economy rate as well as wicket-taking ability. He has the ability to bat as well and a century in this Ranji Trophy season is a big achievement,” added Sharma.