India got to nurture young match-winners like Kuldeep Yadav: Dav Whatmore | cricket | Hindustan Times
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India got to nurture young match-winners like Kuldeep Yadav: Dav Whatmore

Kuldeep Yadav impressed all with his four-wicket haul against Australia in the Dharamsala Test that India won by right wickets to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Former Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore said India should nurture such talents.

cricket Updated: Mar 30, 2017 13:43 IST
HT Correspondent
Kuldeep Yadav starred for India on debut with a four-wicket haul against Australia in Dharamsala Test.
Kuldeep Yadav starred for India on debut with a four-wicket haul against Australia in Dharamsala Test.(REUTERS)

Kuldeep Yadav has undoubtedly been the find for India in the Test-series against Australia, that Virat Kohli’s men won by a 2-1 margin. The 22-year-old spinner became Indian cricket team’s first left-arm Chinaman bowler and left Steve Smith’s baffled with a four-wicket haul in Dharamsala Test.

For stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, Yadav’s 4/68 was the turning point of the must-win game that helped India reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. It restricted Australia, cruising at 144/1 at one stage, to just 300.

Read | Kuldeep Yadav’s four-for turning point of Dharamsala Test: Ajinkya Rahane

Dav Whatmore, who has coached several sub-continental teams like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangaldesh, says it should be India’s prioruty to nurture match-winners like Kuldeep Yadav.

“You got to develop them. But if you are a match-winner, there is nothing better than to take wickets. Because if you can take wickets in a T20 game, or in the second half of a 50-over game, then you are right in there to take wickets and win the match for the team. Kuldeep is tighter than Sandakan (Sri Lanka left-arm wrist spinner). The Afghanistan boy (leg spinner Rashid Khan) is also real good in taking wickets,” Whatmore told HT in an exclusive interview.

Read | India’s Kuldeep Yadav move catches Australia off-guard in Dharamsala Test

The India-Australia series saw intense on-field competition but sledging and pitch controversy also took much of the attention. Whatmore, however, said he would remember the series for the cricketing aspect alone.

“The media loves this (controversy) kind of stuff as well. It allows for such stuff. It is given more importance than what is happening in the field. I will just put it down to two very competitive teams. And when personalities are similar, these things happen. But I would like the series remembered for the cricket than anything else,” he said.

Whatmore also lauded Kohli, under whom India finished the season as world No. 1 and also won their seventh stratight Test series.

“Virat Kohli is a very confident man. He is not going to take a backward step. You are what you are. At the end of the day, he likes to be himself. I’m not sure he wants to keep going along that line, but he is a wonderful cricketer. As a captain, he has done extremely well,” he said.

Whatmore coached Sri Lanka to the World Cup in 1996 and then guided Pakistan and Bangladesh as well. In India, he headed the National Cricket Academy. His latest stint, as head coach of Zimbabwe, was ended abruptly last year.

The 63-year-old says he has at least temporarily taken a break from coaching international teams. Instead, he will look to develop young players with the backing of sports science at the state-of-the-art facility attached to the Sri Ramachandra Medical University in Porur, Chennai.