Kuldeep Yadav © AFP
Kuldeep Yadav © AFP

Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar believes Kuldeep Yadav will prove to be a handful in the longer format of the game. The 23-year-old’s success in limited-over series between India and England, in which he picked nine wickets in the first two ODIs including a career-best 6 for 25 in the series opener, earned him a spot a in the Test squad for the first three Tests of the five-match series.

Commenting on whether the Chinaman bowled can translate that form in Tests, Tendulkar said,”I have always maintained that he’s ready for the longest version of the game and that will be the most challenging one. I think he’s ready.Looking at his repertoire he has the capability to go there and compete, without any doubt.”

Kuldeep’s recent string of impressive performances has gone a long way in establishing him as the probable number number one choice for the 1st Test ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Even though Ashwin and Jadeja are ranked in the top top five in ICC’s Test bowling rankings, Tendulkar feels the selection will be dependent on the pitch conditions in England.

“It will depend on the kind of surfaces that we get to play on. The English summer is pretty warm this time. If there’s a bit of help for our spinners then I am sure we will be in a position in the series to hurt them. That will be a critical factor.”

Tendulkar reckons Hardik Pandya’a all-round abilities brings a good balance to the team.

“Ashwin and Jadeja can also bat. We also have a seam-bowling all-rounder in Hardik Pandya who can bat. That was one element missing, though Hardik’s just started his career. But whatever I see on paper, we have good balance,” said Tendulkar in the interview to Reuters.

India, however, have been pegged by injuries with the team set to miss the services of Jasprit Bumrah in the first Test and Bhuvneshwar Kumar  (not available for selection for the first three Tests). First-choice wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha is also scheduled to undergo a shoulder surgery, but Tendulkar is confident that the team;s bench strength is good enough to produce results.

“If the players are not available, that doesn’t mean the series is gone from us. We have a very good combination. Of course, it’s always nice to have the full playing XI. It’s nice to have all players available.But injuries happen and not having the full squad is also part and parcel of any sport. It’s one of those challenges we have to face and it doesn’t mean we won’t be able to produce the results. We are in a position to produce the results,” he concluded.