Kuldeep Yadav Ravi Shastri England India Lord's
Kuldeep Yadav bowled only nine wicketless overs at Lord’s © Getty Images

Critics and fans were taken aback when Virat Kohli announced that Umesh Yadav has been replaced by Kuldeep Yadav for the second Test between India and England, at Lord’s. On a pitch extremely conducive to seam, Adil Rashid, England’s lone spinner, did not bowl a single ball. The two Indian spinners, Kuldeep (9-1-44-0) and Ravichandran Ashwin (17-1-68-0), went wicketless.

After days of silence, Indian head coach Ravi Shastri confessed after India’s training at Trent Bridge on Thursday that playing Kuldeep was an error. According to a report on ESPNCricinfo, Shastri admitted: ”In hindsight, it was an error. Seeing the conditions, we could have gone with an extra seamer. That might have helped.”

However, he also defended the move somewhat: “Then again, you didn’t know how much it would rain. Whether a match could go into the final day where, just in case a spinner is needed and the ball started to turn, would we have needed him? But in hindsight, the way things panned out, the amount it rained, the amount of time we lost, a seamer could have been a better option.”

Kuldeep had tormented England in the T20I and ODI series that preceded the Tests. He was named Player of the Match in two of three limited-overs matches India won this summer.