Among a number of surprises dropped by the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday was the exclusion of wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Despite having not played much cricket recently, cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra feels the omission of Kuldeep is a little ‘harsh’.

“Personally, even Kuldeep Yadav’s exclusion is a little harsh. He has not played too much cricket, so to make the formal opinion that he does not make the cut, I feel that he is a little hard done by,” Chopra said during a discussion on ESPNCricinfo.

Considering that we are living in Covid times, BCCI had the luxury of picking a big squad where Kuldeep could have been included, Chopra questioned his exclusion.

“He bowled only one Test against England, on a raging turner. Picked up a couple of wickets at the end. Did not play the pink-ball Test. Now he is not playing the entire series. Not just the WTC final, but also the five-match Test series against England. In Covid times, you have the luxury of playing larger squads, so why not Kuldeep Yadav,” Chopra added.

Chopra also pointed out that India has four finger spinners no wrist-spinner. He also felt that against a side that is considered weak against spin, a wrist-spinner could have been picked.

“You get as many as four-spin bowling options – Ashwin, Jadeja, Sundar, and Axar Patel – but all of them are finger-spinners. So, why not a wrist spinner against a side that tends to struggle against them,” Chopra signed off.

After the suspension of the IPL due to the Covid crisis in the country, the focus has now shifted to the inaugural WTC final where Virat Kohli’s Indian team will take on a formidable New Zealand side led by Kane Williamson. The summit clash is scheduled to take place in Southampton starting June 18.