posted on 2019-08-07 20:18:16
posted by Michael Harrison
It wasn't long ago that Kuldeep Yadav was India's major matchwinner in the shorter formats, especially ODIs. He and Yuzvendra Chahal formed a potent duo who were also statistically the best pair during the middle overs of ODIs between August 2017 to December 2018. Hence, the two were expected to be major weapons for India in the 2019 World Cup.
However, this year has been anything but that for Kuldeep. He lacked the fizz that he's known for a horrendous IPL season probably was the turning point of his fortunes. Star players generally don't get affected by this but for some reason, Kuldeep got shattered as he even got dropped during the season.
Still, one thought that he would shed his worries and be back to his best during the World Cup. To be fair to Kuldeep, he wasn't bowling all that badly even though the wickets had started to dry up. The spell against Pakistan promised to improve his form but he had a disappointing game against England where he and Chahal both went the distance.
It's also poor from the Indian team-management that one poor match forced them to split the duo. Kuldeep at present seems to be in need of some serious soul-searching. Chinaman bowlers do face such phases when the batsmen start picking them all of a sudden, thereby playing them more efficiently.
India may also have blundered in exposing Kuldeep to Test cricket and as history has shown, left arm wrist spinners need to be used sparingly for gaining maximum impact. This series will be crucial for Kuldeep, especially with a new crop of spinners already knocking on the door. He's generally had good numbers against West Indies but will he start in the playing XI?