Rohit Sharma's bizarre Kuldeep Yadav tactic draws flak from ex-India stars | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Rohit Sharma's bizarre Kuldeep Yadav tactic in 4th Test vs England draws flak from ex-India cricketers

Feb 24, 2024 10:11 AM IST

Former India cricketers RP Singh and Aakash Chopra felt Rohit Sharma underbowled Kuldeep Yadav on Day of the 4th Test against England.

41 overs and nearly two sessions had gone by when India captain Rohit Sharma remembered he had Kuldeep Yadav in the XI for the fourth Test against England in Ranchi. The left-arm wrist spinner till then was just a fielder doing his best to save precious runs for his team. When you have spinners of the quality of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who are in the top six (in terms of averages) among all bowlers in home Tests, it is a bit difficult to take the ball off their hands. Rohit himself had agreed during the last home season. But late on Friday, long after stumps were called in Ranchi, if Rohit sat to introspect, he would be the first one to put his hand up and accept he perhaps underbowled his 'third spinner', in this case, Kuldeep.

India's Kuldeep Yadav, right, and captain Rohit Sharma(AP)
India's Kuldeep Yadav, right, and captain Rohit Sharma(AP)

On Day 1 of the fourth Test, Kuldeep, the second-most economical bowler on display, bowled just 10 overs out of India's 90. That is three less than Mohammed Siraj, India's most expensive bowler of the day. Kuldeep did not get a wicket but he was very impressive with his lines.

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Those wondering, Jadeja bowled 27 overs and Ashwin 22. And it was not as if both of them got a bag full of wickets. Yes, Jadeja did look threatening whenever he bowled if Rohit had introduced Kuldeep from the end where the left-arm spinner was getting all the purchase from, the story could well have been different.

Rohit Sharma underutilized Kuldeep Yadav

Former India cricketers RP Singh and Aakash Chopra felt Rohit definitely underbowled Kuldeep. "The bowlers put in a lot of effort. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and both the fast bowlers put in a lot of effort. Siraj bowled better in his second spell than his first. The only thing I have a doubt about is that you didn't use Kuldeep Yadav as much as you should have," RP Singh told Colors Cineplex.

"Jadeja and Ashwin were over bowled and Kuldeep couldn't bowl that much because of that, and this happens as well. When you have three spinners, and all three are wicket-takers, one of the bowlers is underbowled many times and that happened with Kuldeep here," Singh added.

Kuldeep bowled just two spells on Day 1. The first one was for 7 overs towards the end of the second session when Joe Root and Ben Foakes had shut shop and he was given three overs right at fag end of the day's play.

Former India opener Chopra said Rohit may have gotten confused because of the "buffet" of bowlers in front of him. "It's right, you are spoilt for choices when you have five bowlers. You get confused at times when you go to a buffet. Kuldeep Yadav was 100% introduced late. He could have been bowled a little earlier," he said on the same show.

England meanwhile, staged a great recovery after losing 5 for 112. An underfire Root (106*) dug deep to get to his 31st Test century and a record 10th against India to help the visitors reach 302/7 at stumps.

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