Ajit Agarkar was left surprised by Kuldeep Yadav’s non selection in India’s XI for the 4th Test against Australia. Agarkar pointed out coach Ravi Shastri’s statement in 2019 when he termed Kuldeep Yadav as India’s ‘primary overseas spinner’.
Team India, beset by almost a dozen injuries now, have gone with a combination of four pacers and an all-rounder in Washington Sundar. Left-arm quick T Natarajan made his Test debut alongside Sundar. And the bowling attack on the field in Brisbane has a cumulative experience of four Tests.
Kuldeep Yadav has been with the squad since the beginning of the tour. The chinaman bowler has a good record against Australia, including a 5-wicket haul in Sydney in 2019. Taking to Sony Sports, Agarkar remarked that without Yadav, the Indian attack can become ‘one-dimensional’.
“Even in that attack, there is no one like a Mitchell Starc who is out and out a quick bowler. Saini’s probably the only one who has got that little bit of extra pace. Kuldeep does provide the variety and he’s done well before in Australia. Very surprised that he is not playing and he must be very disappointed,” said Agarkar.
The 43-year-old further explained:
“Going with five bowlers, Washington Sundar playing as an all-rounder which Jadeja was. Why not have another spinner? Gives you better 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.”
Kuldeep hasn’t played Test cricket since 2019
After Kuldeep’s spell of 5-99 on a flat Sydney track on India’s last Australia tour, India head coach Ravi Shastri had heaped praise on the spinner. Shastri had said that going ahead, Kuldeep Yadav would be India’s first pick in overseas Tests.
However, since then, either Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja have held that position. Ajit Agarkar questioned the same and said Kuldeep’s experience would have helped the Indian bowling lineup.
“After the last Test of the last series, he was the no.1 spinner for India and hasn’t played a Test since I think? If you are going with five bowlers which they have obviously looked at the experience and they had thought we need a little bit more cushion,” said Ajit Agarkar.
Published 15 Jan 2021, 11:48 IST