Kuldeep Yadav’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 and while many former cricketers and experts believe that the he ready for Test Cricket, Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri has given his stamp of approval on the 23-year-old.
“Kuldeep has arrived,” said Ravi Shastri in an interview to ESPN Cricinfo. “ He has already played Test cricket. He had done decently in the ODIs. Kuldeep is also hungry. He is a tough little nut. And with more exposure he will only get better,” asserted the former Indian captain.
Kuldeep’s name has been doing the rounds for a place in the playing XI for the first Test at expense of either R Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja. In the two Tests that Kuldeep has played (in India and in Sri Lanka), he has managed nine wickets including a 4 for 68 on debut at Dharamsala in an eight-wicket win over Australia.
The English batsmen, who seemed all at sea against Kuldeep’s variations in the limited-overs., resorted to Merlyn, their state-of-the-art bowling machine, to replicate Kuldeep’s mysteries and this has only fuelled speculations of his inclusion on the XI.
Speaking on Ashwin, Shastri stated that his experience will be a big bonus in the series. “His record, his experience is huge. He is world-class and has proven it over a span of time. He is hungry and wants to do well game after the game,” said the 56-year-old.
While Ashwin’s home record speaks for itself with 225 wickets in 36 matches at an average of 22.79, his away record (barring Sri Lanka) is nothing to write home about. In 15 matches played in Australia, England, South Africa and West Indies he has managed 48 wickets at an average of 40.97.