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Kuldeep Yadav “very narrowly” missed out on Champions Trophy selection

India are placed in Group B alongside Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa. They will begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After too much uncertainty over India’s participation in the elite tournament, BCCI has finally announced its 15-man squad that will be boarding for England later this month. Many of the big names have been retained in the squad, while few outcasts remained as outcasts, even after performing brilliantly at the Indian Premier League (IPL).

While the war-veterans like Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were named in the squad, young talents like Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav were though considered couldn’t make a cut. The chairman of selectors MSK Prasad faced the heat of the media, who were seeking answers for their notable omissions.

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Kuldeep took the place of injured Virat Kohli in a Test match against Australia in March. After delivering a sensational performance, many were of the opinion that the one-of-a-kind left-arm chinaman bowler should be given a chance in the squad for Champions Trophy to add X-Factor to the team.

The 22-year-old is currently having a good IPL playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, who are placed at 2nd in the points table. But looking at a team that contains the likes of experienced Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, one would dare not to pick a comparatively inexperienced Yadav.

Though he would have been a surprise package for India, it is indeed true that he is yet to play a major international tournament, and for elite tournaments like Champions Trophy which will be played in unfavourable conditions in England, one would pick only the experienced ones who have done the job time and again.

Speaking to the media, Prasad said, “Kuldeep would have been a surprise package but at the same time, we are not sure because we have two premium spinners in the team. Not sure if at the cost of them, he could be played. We also have Yuvraj and Kedar who can bowl in the team. That is the reason he very narrowly missed out on the spot”.

He further stated that there was no dilemma whatsoever regarding Ashwin’s selection. “Ashwin’s selection was not a difficult decision. He’s had rest, isn’t out of form. That was our way of preparing him (Ashwin) for the Champions Trophy,” he added.

The former wicketkeeper-batsman also clarified that while picking the side for the 50-over tournament, IPL performances were not taken into account. He said, “When we consider for a 50 over tournament, we want to consider all round performances. IPL is a wonderful platform. From here, we will bring them (Pant, Kuldeep, etc) into the radar and groom them.”

India are placed in Group B alongside Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa. They will begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan.

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