“Don't want to expose him a lot” - Rohit Sharma explains the decision to rest Kuldeep Yadav 

Sri Lanka Asia Cup Cricket
Kuldeep Yadav is embraced by Shubman Gill during the Super 4 match against Pakistan. (Pic: AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Team India captain Rohit Sharma has stated that there are multiple reasons behind the decision to rest left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav for the first two ODIs versus Australia - one of them being that they don’t want to overexpose him. He added that the management also wants to give a chance to players who did not get a lot of game time in the Asia Cup.

Kuldeep was named the Player of the Series as India lifted the Asia Cup, defeating Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the final in Colombo on Sunday on September 17. The in-form spinner claimed a five-fer against Pakistan in the Super 4 game and following it up with a four-wicket haul against Sri Lanka.

Rohit admitted that Kuldeep is a rhythm bowler, but explained that the decision to rest him has been made in the best interest of the team. Speaking at a virtual press conference, he commented:

"Kuldeep is a rhythm bowler, we all know that. But we thought of a lot of things and took this call. His bowling is going well, like Ajit [Agarkar] said, we had to give players a chance, especially those who played just one game at the Asia Cup and are in the World Cup squad."

The Indian captain added:

"We have been looking at Kuldeep for the last one, one and a half years, this is why we don't want to expose him a lot. He is coming back for the last match. There are a lot of reasons. This is the best decision for us, to have him sit out for two games and play the third. We have a couple of practice matches, so he should get his bowling rhythm right."

Kuldeep has admitted multiple times recently that he has worked hard on his getting rhythm into his bowling and that the same has been paying dividends.

“He is one of India’s trump cards” - Ajit Agarkar on Kuldeep Yadav

Sharing his thoughts on Kuldeep’s importance to the current Indian setup, BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar described him as one of India’s trump cards who possesses special skills. The former India pacer, who worked with Kuldeep during his coaching stint with Delhi Capitals (DC), said:

“I’ve spend a couple of years with him in the IPL. He’s a guy who has a special skill set. Every player needs to be shown faith, given a bit of confidence, which is what the team management has done. It’s probably showing on the field right now. In various conditions against various oppositions, he is one of India’s trump cards."
“We are all very happy for him and excited over what he’s doing on the cricket field for the moment. Hopefully, he can continue that. Clearly, most teams at the moment coming up against him are finding it a challenge,” Agarkar concluded.

Kuldeep has featured in 89 ODIs so far and has claimed 150 wickets at an average of 25.64.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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