Kuldeep Yadav’s start to 2020 has gone from bad to worse as he failed to justify his selection in the first ODI between India and New Zealand at Seddon Park, Hamilton on Wednesday. Picked over Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep’s bowling figures of 2/84 in 10 overs didn’t make for a good read. He was tonked to all parts of the ground and looked lethargic on the field.

Backing his ward after a one-off day, India’s fielding coach R Sridhar dismissed reports raising question marks over Kuldeep’s fitness on Friday. Sridhar said the chinaman bowler is fully fit but not playing regularly is probably having a negative impact on his bowling.

“He is fully fit and he is not carrying any injury. He is totally cleared to play all the games. He has played a lot of ODI cricket, played all three games against Australia. He didn’t play the T20s as Chahal was there. Maybe Kuldeep is the kind of guy who needs a lot of overs under his belt to get his rhythm.

“Typical leg-spinner thing, I would suppose with a lot of overs under the belt. On and off, he is playing the odd one-day game. I think he is a good bowler and he has got all his skills. I think the New Zealand batters played him really well,” said Sridhar ahead of the second ODI in Auckland.

Yadav has been fairly inconsistent in his international outings of late. His outing at Seddon Park was his first game of the tour after being left out of the eleven in the five T20 Internationals. The 25-year-old wrist-spinner was also dropped from the Test squad earlier this week, 12 months after head coach Ravi Shastri called him India’s number one spinner in overseas conditions.

India are currently 1-0 down in the three-match series but can take confidence from the fact that they came back from behind in the last two ODI series against West Indies and Australia to win 2-1.

“…when we come across a situation like this, we embrace it. We want these situations and the leadership group of this team wants to be in a tough situation…it’s always good to be under pressure,” the fielding coach added.