Kuldeep Yadav bowls under the supervision of bowling coach Bharat Arun. (Getty Images)
Kuldeep Yadav bowls under the supervision of bowling coach Bharat Arun. (Getty Images)

'He's bowling better than he has ever bowled before': Virat Kohli explains Kuldeep Yadav's omission

  • Ahead of the fourth and final Test, which starts Thursday, Kohli was once again asked the reason behind Kuldeep's ouster from the D/N Test.
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 04:07 PM IST

Kuldeep Yadav has been dealt a few rough hands over the last couple of years. The India wrist spinner went over two years without playing a Test match for India before his wait finally ended when he was included in the Playing XI for the second Test match against England in Chennai. Kuldeep did not bowl badly, picking up 2/25 in the limited overs he was given to bowl.

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When action shifted to Ahmedabad for the pink ball Test, as expected, Kuldeep was once again left out, with Washington Sundar getting preference over him. After India had lost the first Test, Kohli had cleared the air about Kuldeep, insisting how there were no regrets about not playing the chinaman bowler. Now, ahead of the fourth and final Test, which starts Thursday, Kohli was once again asked the reason behind Kuldeep's ouster from the D/N Test.

"Kuldeep is bowling better than he has ever bowled before and his head space is excellent. He isn't playing right now due to combinations of the side, we are wanting an extra batting option due to the likes of Washington and Axar being inexperienced as of now," Kohli told reporters on the eve of the fourth Test.

Also Read | India predicted XI 4th Test: Bumrah's replacement biggest headache for Kohli

Besides Kuldeep, Kohli weighed in on Cheteshwar Pujara, once again asserting that he continues to remain one of India's batting linchpin and that not much is being read into his lack of runs in the series. Hero of India's back-to-back Test series wins Down Under, Pujara hasn't had the best of series against England. He began the series with a half-century in the first Test, but since has managed scores of 15, 21, 7 and 0 in the second and third Tests.

"Cheteshwar Pujara is aware what he needs to work on. He was previously criticised for not playing well away from home now he is being criticised for a few bad performances at home. I have said this before, he and Jinks (Rahane) are our two most important Test batsmen," Kohli said.

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