Kuldeep Yadav and I could have played together if Ravindra Jadeja was a medium pacer: Yuzvendra Chahal
In Jadeja's presence, India have mostly preferred one specialist spinner for ODIs and T20Is.
Updated - May 21, 2021 12:38 pm
Yuzvendra Chahal, the Indian leg-spinner, said that he and Kuldeep Yadav could have played a lot more had Ravindra Jadeja been a medium pacer. Jadeja lost his place from the limited-overs team for a brief while in 2017 but made a comeback in 2018.
Even as Chahal has remained a key member of the Men in Blue, Kuldeep has strained to hold on to his place in the team. Jadeja’s performances as an all-rounder have improved over the years due to which India have preferred only one specialist spinner in their ranks.
Hardik Pandya’s persistent back injury also helped Jadeja foray back into white-ball cricket. Kuldeep has made occasional comebacks in ODIs and T20Is, but he has, mostly, had to warm the benches. Chahal put forth his opinions in an interview with Sports Tak.
The need of the team was to have an all-rounder at No. 7 position: Yuzvendra Chahal
“When Kuldeep Yadav and I used to play, Hardik Pandya was also there and he would bowl. In 2018 Hardik Pandya got injured and Ravindra Jadeja made a comeback (in white-ball cricket) as an all-rounder, the one who could also bat at number 7.
“Unfortunately, he is a spinner, we could have played together if he was a medium pacer. It was the demand of the team,” Chahal said.
After the 2017 Champions Trophy, Kuldeep and Chahal shouldered India’s spin-bowling responsibilities in the limited-overs format. Chahal, who’s currently preparing for the tour of Sri Lanka, reckons that the team’s performance is more important.
“Kuldeep and I played 50-50 matches in any series. Sometimes he would play 3 matches of 5 matches of a series, sometimes I would get the chance. The team combination is needed, 11 players make a team and ‘Kulcha’ was not making it.
“We were there till Hardik was there, we were also given chances. The need of the team was to have an all-rounder at the No. 7 position. I am happy even if I am not playing but the team is winning,” Chahal added.
Kuldeep, recently, talked about his mental struggles after having to sit out for a prolonged period of time. Chahal, in the meantime, hasn’t been at his best, both at the international level and for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).