Chahal or Kuldeep: Who should be India's lead spinner at the World Cup?
ICC Cricket World Cup, cricket's 50-over mega event is set to take place in England next year. The champions of the Gentleman's Game will be decided at the Home of Cricket next year.
India, who has had a successful transition from its previous era, look clear favorites to lift the trophy. Although the core of the team is ready, a few doubts still exist regarding the balance of the squad. One of them is who among Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will be leading the spin-bowling attack in England next year.
India is a cricketing nation which has produced legends in the spin-bowling department in the past. We have seen the likes of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh dominate many batting line-ups with their craft. The art of spin-bowling has now changed with the rise of T20s. Captains prefer wrist spinners in the team despite the fact that they can leak runs sometimes. In such a generation, India is lucky to have found two young quality wrist-spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
Yuzvendra Chahal is a traditional leg-spinner who has been a regular in the Indian team for some time now. Kuldeep Yadav also has a similar career trajectory as an unorthodox left-arm wrist spinner. Both have taken wickets in a heap and will form a crucial element of India's squad at the World Cup. With both of them performing well, Kohli will have a selection headache as he will have to leave out one of them on the green pitches of England.
Kuldeep Yadav is one player who has either produced a match-winning spell or has remained wicketless in matches. He has always been successful in pressurizing the opposition batsmen by bowling unplayable deliveries. He has plenty of variations up his sleeve which can result in wickets in unexpected situations.
On the other hand, Yuzvendra Chahal relies on his turn and flight to take wickets. Chahal has contributed with wickets on a consistent basis. The drawback with Chahal is that he has a tendency to leak runs. Although in most cases he balances it with a wicket, it could prove costly against a quality batting line-up.
Both the spinners are good in their own way and when it comes to leaving out one of them, Chahal would be the likely player. Although he has started the first Windies ODI ahead of Kuldeep, this decision was mainly due to the absence of Hardik Pandya. When Hardik comes back, Jadeja will be replaced by Kuldeep. And if Kohli wants to include a third seamer, Chahal may have to make way.