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India spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s red-ball struggles continue

Yadav was off colour as India 'A' lost to Aussies in unofficial Test

Ajit Vijaykumar 2018/09/06

India‘s left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav is one of the most effective bowlers in limited overs cricket. His variations have seen him upstage established spinners like Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and push the two out of the Indian set-up in the company of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

But when it comes to red-ball cricket, the scenario is quite different.

Yadav was included in the Test squad in England after mesmerising England batsmen in the T20 and ODI series. He picked up a five-for in the first T20 against England and a six-for in the first ODI to push his way into the Indian Test team mix. However, the Indian team misread conditions in the first two Tests and got the combination wrong.

The pitch in Birmingham offered help to spinners and India went in with just Ravi Ashwin. The wicket at Lord’s for the second match turned out to be a seamer’s paradise but India inexplicably fielded two in Ashwin and Yadav.

The 23-year-old Yadav looked out of sorts as he got a pair and bowled nine overs without success and went for 44 runs.

The Indian management admitted it was a mistake playing Yadav and that seems to have affected his confidence. Now playing for India ‘A’, the ghost of England has followed the wrist spinner.

India ‘A’ lost the unofficial Test to Australia ‘A’ by 98 runs in Bengaluru. In the match, Australia’s left-arm finger spinner Jon Holland picked up nine wickets with six in the second to script a superb win for the visitors.

Yadav, however, only managed four wickets in the match and all of them were of lower order batsmen or tail-enders.

While Ashwin can give the excuse of playing in England, albeit helpful pitches, while nursing a hip injury, Yadav’s efforts at home against a team that has a traditional weakness against any sort of quality spin will not inspire any confidence.

According to quotes published by ESPNcricinfo, Kuldeep said he needs more game time in first-class matches to improve his consistency.

“You have to change your mindset when you come to play with the red ball,” Yadav said. “You need to be very patient. You’re not going to take wickets every time you come up to bowl. For me it’s very important to be patient and not to try too much.”

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Australia cricket England cricket India cricket Kuldeep Yadav Ravi Ashwin