Kuldeep Yadav bowling in the nets. (Getty Images)
Kuldeep Yadav bowling in the nets. (Getty Images)

India vs Australia: 'Don't think it was good selection,' Former India quick not impressed with Kuldeep Yadav's omission

  • India vs Australia: India made four changes to their Playing XI but the one name that went missing from the team sheet was that of chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 01:35 PM IST

India made four changes to their Playing XI from the Sydney Test as they included Shardul Thakur and Mayank Agarwal, and handed Test debuts to T Natarajan and Washington Sundar. However, the one name that went missing from the team sheet was that of chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav. India went with a four-pronged pace attack with Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj being the other two pacers and included only one spinner, Sundar in their bowling attack.

Ajit Agarkar, the former India fast bowler, felt it was unfair to leave out Kuldeep given the variety he offers and the bounce wrist-spinners have historically generated at the Gabba. Agarkar feels the inclusion of Kuldeep could have given India the edge of the surface is to flatten out and offers uniqueness to a bowling attack that looks similar with four pacers.

“I think Kuldeep should be very disappointed, and why shouldn’t he? After the last Test of the last series, he was the No. 1 spinner for India. He hasn’t played a Test since I think. If you're going in with five bowlers, which they've obviously looked at the experience and perhaps thought need a cushion. But why not play another spinner? It gives you that balance in the attack. If the pitch flattens out, and there isn’t much for the quicks, then suddenly it becomes a one-dimensional attack,” Agarkar said on the 'Extraaa Innings' show on Sony Sports Network.

“Even in that attack, there isn’t anyone like a Mitchell Starc, who’s out and out like a quick bowler. So if there a sameness in the attack, they you might as well provide that variety which Kuldeep provides. He’s done well earlier in Australia and yes, there is this thing about him that he bowls a little slow but conditions here will afford him that pace naturally. So very surprised that he’s not playing and he must be very disappointed.”

As Agarkar pointed out, Kuldeep was India's second specialised spinner for the tour of Australia and given that he has a five-wicket-haul in Australia – during the Sydney Test of the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The former quick admitted he was very surprised seeing the left-arm wrist spinner being left out and believes India's team selection could have been better.

He’s your third spinner of this tour. If Jadeja is being considered an out and out all-rounder, then Kuldeep is the second spinner. And then there’s a guy who’s not part of the squad and he comes and plays ahead of you. So I’m not too sure what to think. I mean that guy has got five wickets in Australia. I don’t think it was good selection.

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