'The poor guy has had a tough time': Dinesh Karthik weighs in on India bowler's mediocre form

By, New Delhi
Mar 27, 2021 01:07 PM IST

India vs England: Four out of the five Indian bowlers conceded runs at over six an over in the 2nd ODI against England.

It was a night which the Indian bowlers would want to forget as quickly as possible. As Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes went hammer and tongs, the figures of India's bowlers offered a poor reading. Barring Prasidh Krishna, all four bowlers conceded at over six runs an over. Krunal Pandya bled 72 in six, while Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav combined to leak 138 runs from 17.3. Even Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had bowled splendidly in the last couple of games for India, was later taken for runs finishing with 1/63 from 10 overs.

Krunal Pandya, Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav had a terrible outing with the ball. (BCCI)
Krunal Pandya, Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav had a terrible outing with the ball. (BCCI)

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However, if there was one bowler out of the five, for whom the match was particularly rough, it’s Kuldeep Yadav. The wrist-spinner went wicketless and gave away 84 runs from 10 overs, the most expensive among those to bowl his full quota of overs. Kuldeep had eight sixes hit off his bowling, with Ben Stokes smoking him for three maximums in an over. This is the second time in two matches that Kuldeep has returned expensive figures, following 0/68 in the first ODI.

Having to sit out most of the matches in the last few months, Kuldeep is yet to have a game he'd wished for, but India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik believes it is important for the chinaman bowler to not let his guard down given the important tournaments that lie ahead of him.

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"Kuldeep, personally, the poor guy has had a tough time. He's been sitting out for a long time. He comes in, he's had a couple of games here. It's really not gone his way. But these things happen to international cricketers," Karthik said on Sky Cricket. "He needs to chin up, get stronger. He's got a couple of very important months not only in his red-ball career but also for his white-ball career in the form of IPL so he needs to do really well. Buck up and do the best in the next couple of months."

Karthik feels India captain Virat Kohli could have given the ball to a fast bowler instead of a spinner when Stokes first walked out at bat at No. 3, although the wicketkeeper batsman did mention it was one of those days that whatever India could have conjured may not have been enough to stop Stokes.

"When Ben Stokes walked in, I think Krunal Pandya hadn’t bowled. I’d felt that at that stage, maybe Shardul Thakur could have been brought for an over because he has this ability to pick up wickets, but he (Kohli) went for Krunal Pandya," Karthik said.

"But the match-up is such that of Stokes get going, forget Krunal Pandya. Any left-arm spinner in the world, he (Stokes) takes them down. It was one of those days where it was hard to stop Stokes. It was almost as if every shot that he played, he was looking to hi a six."

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