‘A little unfortunate on him to be honest’ – Gautam Gambhir surprised by Kuldeep Yadav’s omission from the first Test against England

‘A little unfortunate on him to be honest’ – Gautam Gambhir surprised by Kuldeep Yadav’s omission from the first Test against England

The veteran was also surprised to see Ishant Sharma play the game as he had his apprehensions over the pacer’s form in first-class cricket.

Kuldeep Yadav of India bowls during a net session
Kuldeep Yadav of India bowls during a net session. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian cricketer, reckons that Kuldeep Yadav should have been picked for the opening Test against England at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Kuldeep made his Test debut back in March 2017 against Australia in Dharamsala and has only played six matches in the format, picking up 24 wickets with a six-wicket haul to his name.

Going into the Chepauk Test, Axar Patel was ruled out of the game and Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar were added to their squad. As their three spinners, India picked Ravi Ashwin, Washington Sundar, and Nadeem. Gambhir, who retired from all forms of cricket in December 2018, said that Kuldeep is a ‘rare commodity’ and shouldn’t have been left out.

Kuldeep Yadav would have been a great asset: Gambhir

“A little unfortunate on Kuldeep to be honest. I thought they should have actually picked Kuldeep against England. A wrist spinner is a rare commodity. He has been with the team, he hasn’t played any cricket so Kuldeep would have been a great asset,” Gambhir was quoted as saying on Cricbuzz.

Gambhir said that the hosts opted for two off-spinners since they wanted to strengthen their batting lower down the order. The veteran was also surprised to see Ishant Sharma play the game as he had his apprehensions over the pacer’s form in first-class cricket. The speedster didn’t play a single Test in the recent Border Gavaskar Trophy in Australia.

“A lot of time we have seen how a wrist spinner can turn the game. It’s a little unfortunate and a bit surprised as well that they are playing with two off-spinners. Yes probably because they want more depth in the batting at no.7 and no.8. Again a big surprise was Ishant Sharma because he hasn’t played a lot of red-ball cricket,” he added.

As far as Kuldeep is concerned, to some extent, he has fallen out of contention in ODI and T20 cricket as well. Even in the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL), he didn’t get to play a lot of matches for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), led by Eoin Morgan.