Chetan Sharma, the chairman of India’s senior men’s cricket team selection committee, on Saturday said that left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav puts forward a variation which is very difficult for batters to understand.
He added that the plan for now is to give Yadav a long run in the squad after making a comeback from the knee injury and subsequent surgery last year in ODIs against the West Indies.
On Saturday, Yadav’s comeback run continued when he was named as one of the five spinners in Tests against Sri Lanka.
“Kuldeep has been included as he did well and the most important thing he brings is the variation. He brings in a variation which is very difficult to understand. The idea of this selection committee is that with the one you are walking around, give him a longer run,” said Sharma in the virtual press conference.
Sharma also termed Yadav as an ‘asset’.
“Kuldeep, despite good performances, was out of the team due to some circumstances. Our thinking now is to give him a longer run. If he continues to maintain the rhythm he had in the ODIs, he will be an asset to the team. That is the reason we are keeping him in the side and try to give him as many chances as possible. It is up to team management now as selectors don’t come much into it. But Kuldeep is definitely an asset for us.”
Yadav’s statemate from Uttar Pradesh, Saurabh Kumar, a conventional left-arm spinner, has earned his first call-up to the Test squad. Kumar was a member of ‘A’ team’s tour to South Africa and was a net bowler for the Test series as well.
“Saurabh Kumar has been doing very well in domestic cricket. We picked him up from there and went to South Africa with India ‘A’. The selectors on tour were very happy with Saurabh Kumar’s performance and he’s a young guy, a left-arm spinner from Uttar Pradesh, who’s doing really well. We had a lot of discussion and it will be very nice to see him because he was a net bowler and was a standby for the South Africa tour too. We have included him in the side and let’s hope he does well.”
Sharma revealed that Ravindra Jadeja is fully fit after recovering from injury and will make a competitive comeback through T20I followed by Tests against Sri Lanka. “Jadeja is absolutely fit. When he wasn’t fit, the selectors didn’t pick him for the series. Now he is absolutely fit and is an asset as an all-rounder. We have all missed Ravindra Jadeja the all-rounder and are waiting for the day he takes the ball in hand and comes out to bat.”
With Rishabh Pant rested from the final T20I against West Indies and the subsequent T20Is against Sri Lanka, Sanju Samson has been given a go. Samson was last seen in India colours in the tour to Sri Lanka last July. “As a back-up wicketkeeper for Rishabh Pant, we are looking at Sanju Samson and he is in our scheme of things. The most important thing for us is to see how Australian wickets are and the cricketers who will be useful there. Those plannings are there and Sanju Samson is in our scheme of things,” stated Sharma.
Sharma signed off by expressing happiness over youngsters, with special mention to leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, doing well in the recent matches. “All youngsters have done very well. Whoever has got the chances, which come with great difficulty due to the bench strength of the team, you need to make the most out of your chances. The selection committee was very happy to see Ravi Bishnoi get man of the match in the first game and did well in the second game.”
“Yuzvendra Chahal has been bowling tremendously well in the second game. Whosoever has got the ball in hand, has bowled well. It’s healthy competition for me and my committee. But it’s a headache for the management. As a selector, I am happy to see youngsters do well.”