Ravi Shastri: Kuldeep comes into World Cup mix big time

Kuldeep returned with a five-wicket haul in the first innings of the drawn fourth Test in Sydney against Australia and the wrist-spinner received huge accolades from India coach Ravi Shastri.

Ravi Shastri said that Kuldeep Yadav will be a strong contender for a place in the playing XI during the upcoming World Cup.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Team India coach Ravi Shastri is impressed with the way Kuldeep Yadav bowled on his maiden Test on Australian soil and said that the chinaman will be India’s first-choice spinner when it comes to selecting the playing XI for the upcoming World Cup in England.

Kuldeep returned with a five-wicket haul in the first innings of the drawn fourth Test in Sydney against Australia and the wrist-spinner received huge accolades from Shastri.

“Kuldeep comes into the mix big time now (in the World Cup),” Shastri told India Today TV channel.

“He might be in every Indian XI that plays (in the World Cup) because he has the advantage of a wrist spinner. We might need to choose between the other two finger spinners because wrist spinner now is the priority.”

Young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant also impressed by scoring 350 runs at an average of 58.33 to emerge as the second leading run-scorer for India during the four-match Test series against Australia.

India won the contest 2-1 to clinch its maiden Test series win on Australian soil.

READ: India’s Australia conquest - the process Bedi missed

However, the 21-year-old Pant, who scored an unbeaten 159 in Sydney, was not included in the squad for the Australia and New Zealand ODIs.

Shastri said Pant has been given a specific job of learning to finish games, which will be important for India during the World Cup.

“We have asked him to go back because he has been playing non-stop cricket. I think he needs a break for a couple of weeks and then join the India A team,” the India coach said.

“He has been asked to do a specific job, to get into the habit of finishing off matches and he will be right there in the mix,” he added.

Shastri again slammed the critics for “jabbering away“.

“Who cares what people say? Look at the scoreboard, look at the results and rest is history, you can keep jabbering away,” he said.

“I always believed the people who jabber away are in the minority. You don’t know the millions of fans that this Indian team has, you outnumber the jabbering crowd.”

Virat Kohli and Co. will now take on Australia in the three-match one-day series starting in Sydney on Saturday.