West Indies vs India 2019: Will Kuldeep Yadav play ahead of stalwarts Ashwin and Jadeja in the opening Test?
Thrashing the Windies comprehensively in colored-clothing affairs, the Men in Blue have their eyes fixed on the subsequent prize - the two-match Test series. The Indian squad for the longest version of the game comprises three quality spinners - off-break Ravichandran Ashwin, chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. The decisive question of who'll be featuring in the playing eleven can inflict a mild headache to the team management.
The developing rhetoric of emphasis on wrist-spin certainly provides youngster Kuldeep Yadav with a little edge over his senior counterparts.
Right after Kuldeep bagged a five-for in the rain-affected Sydney Test, head coach Ravi Shastri pronounced that Kuldeep Yadav is firmly ahead of veteran Ravichandran Ashwin in the pecking order as India’s frontline spinner on foreign soil.
“Already! He plays overseas Test cricket and he gets five wickets, so he becomes our primary overseas spinner. Going ahead, if we have to play one spinner, he is the one we will pick,” Shastri told a cricket-specific website.
The no-holds-barred statement certainly degraded Ravi Ashwin's credentials as India's premier spinner, who has been a cornerstone of India's escalation to the pinnacle of the Test rankings. However, in recent times, the performances of the spin wizard at the international level have been mixed.
Ups and downs
Containing the batsmen dexterously in pacer-friendly conditions in South Africa, Ashwin began the strenuous tour of England with a formidable display at Edgbaston, where he scalped seven wickets in both innings combined. Injuring his groin leading into the campaign, the Chennai lad failed to impress in the remainder of the tour. He picked up six wickets in the only Test he played in Australia but picked up an injury that in unfortunate circumstances.
Jadeja seems a certainty
Kuldeep Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin are bound to withstand severe competition from the skillful utility cricketer, Ravindra Jadeja. Bouncing back strongly onto the scene after fading for a slight while, Ravindra Jadeja provides excellent balance to the Indian squad, with the bat and the ball, and of course, with his electric athleticism in the field. The dynamic all-round cricketer has always been a potential threat with the red cherry in hand.
Moreover, the England tour has already shown the importance of lower-order contributions and hence, Jadeja's swashbuckling knock in the penultimate fixture of India's unfulfilled World Cup campaign prompts for Jadeja's inclusion straightaway, without a doubt.
Kuldeep Yadav may be given the nod ahead of stalwarts Ashwin and Jadeja considering the x-factor of his chinaman deliveries.. It is unlikely for the think tank to play three spinners and hence, one of the three will have to carry the refreshments, though, captain Virat Kohli has shocked one and all with his unorthodox captaincy and flexible approach to decision-making in the past and who knows, we could be witnessing all three spinning a web around the Calypso men.
It will be extremely interesting to see the playing eleven for the opening Test.
Also see - India West Indies schedulePublished 20 Aug 2019, 13:24 IST