'Just one match won't get him ahead of Axar': Karthik calls Kuldeep Yadav's 2nd Test axe 'fair' in massive statement
Kuldeep Yadav had an exceptional outing in the first Test, where he impressed with both bat and the ball and was named Player of the Match.
After securing the first Test in Chhatogram, KL Rahul-led India continued their impressive show in the second encounter, which started on Thursday. Bangladesh, who opted to bat first, was skittled for 227 in their first innings as KL Rahul and Shubman Gill dragged to India to 19/0 at stumps on Day 1 as the visitors trail by 208 runs.
However, the biggest story of the day was Kuldeep Yadav's shocking omission. The chinaman spinner had an exceptional outing in the first Test, where he impressed with both bat and the ball and was named Player of the Match. Kuldeep had then chipped in with 40 vital runs. More than that he stood firm in the middle for 114 deliveries and stitched an impressive 92 runs stand for the eighth wicket with R Ashwin.
The bowler was even more impactful with the ball as he completed a five-wicket haul in the first innings and followed it up with another three wickets. Despite the stellar show, Kuldeep was not considered for the final Test as India decided to field three seamers and drop one spinner.
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Sharing his views on the same, India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik said we need to assess the situation holistically and rated both R Ashwin and Axar Patel over the chinaman spinner.
"We have to look at the situation holistically. Ashwin is our number one spinner, number two is Axar because of the performances he has given with Jadeja not being around. That leaves Kuldeep being number three.
"Just one Test match won't get Kuldeep ahead of Axar. Axar has been doing well for quite some time now, he has actually been the leader of the spin bowling attack when Ashwin has had a tough day, Axar has backed him.
“If Jadeja is there he obviously slots in for number two but for the moment Axar is number 2. And if they have decided looking at the wicket that there is going to be help for the medium pacers so lets go with three medium pacers and the axe had to fall on spinner then they went for Kuldeep Yadav, which is understandable,” Karthik noted during an interaction on Cricbuzz.
Fans may find Axar being placed over Kuldeep confusing but Karthik justified his statement with two reasons.
"A - Axar has always been their premier spinner along with Ashwin. B - He can give something with the bat. I know a lot of you'll will get angry for saying this because he got a vital 40 in the first match, but I think Kuldeep will know that his time will come.”
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Karthik feels this shocking omission will make Kuldeep “hungrier” and expects the spinner to have an even more impactful outing against Australia, which will be played in February and March.
“I feel this decision was a fair one considering how Axar has been bowling over a period of time. That is something we need to understand, we cannot quickly forget what Kuldeep has done and what Axar has done. But I'm sure this will make Kuldeep hungrier and he'll do well in the Australian series,” the wicketkeeper-batter added.