Not too long ago, the Indian team management backed wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav to carry the mantle of the white-ball spin attack. But there is no place for the duo in the T20I squad at the moment.
Team India looked beyond the spin twins for two straight T20I series, including the ongoing home assignment against South Africa.
Kuldeep, however, has a chance to make a mark with the red ball, having earned a spot in the Test squad to face South Africa. The change in format will be a new challenge for the chinaman, who has played little First Class cricket in recent times.
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Turning out for India A in the second Test against South Africa A provides Kuldeep the opportunity to find his rhythm. “Playing red-ball cricket is difficult, specially when you are a regular in white-ball cricket. It was important for me to come here and bowl as many overs as possible. There is still plenty of work to do,” Kuldeep said on Thursday.
The 24-year-old has taken the white-ball snub in positive spirit. “I did well; my stats are good. Maybe the selectors feel they need to give me a break from T20Is, and that some changes are required. I respect that, and I have no complaints. I see this as an opportunity to do well in Tests,” Kuldeep said.
Earning a spot in the playing eleven for the Test side is not guaranteed as Kuldeep is competing with two other accomplished spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and R. Ashwin. “When three best spinners like Ashwin, Jaddu (Jadeja) and I are in the squad, it’s challenging for the selectors to pick the right combination. You need to be ready to grab your chance. Of course, there is pressure because you only get a few chances, and you have to make full use of them,” he said.
One of the reasons for Kuldeep’s ouster from the shorter format is his lack of batting prowess. It is a shortcoming that Kuldeep is working on. “I’ve been working on my batting with (previous India batting coach) Sanjay Bangar. I feel my batting is good at theTest level,” he said.