Kuldeep’s exclusion ‘difficult decision’: Rahul

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Tough Luck: Despite winning the player of the match award in the first Test, Kuldeep didn't find a place in the playing XI.

Tough Luck: Despite winning the player of the match award in the first Test, Kuldeep didn’t find a place in the playing XI.

This is not the first time that Kuldeep Yadav has not made it to the playing XI after taking five wickets. But the most surprising yet is the left-arm unorthodox spinner’s exclusion for the second Test against Bangladesh after a player-of-the-match performance in the opening match.

At the time of the toss, captain KL Rahul called it a “difficult decision” on Kuldeep. He termed the wicket as a “confusing pitch” and said he did not know what to make of it. Left-arm fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat as two specialist spinners R.K. Ashwin and Axar Patel were included “to cover all the bases”.

But with three spinners, Bangladesh seem to have read the wicket differently. Bangladesh’s batting coach James Siddons said, “We may not have read the wicket (at Mirpur) well, but we didn’t read Kuldeep well either.”

“We are surprised that he did not play. I think it has been a very flat wicket for the fast bowlers. It is turning and bouncing for the spinners. [it’s] hard against them. Ashwin got incredible bounce and spin.

“We hope our decision to play spinners is a good one. Umesh by saying [Yadav] took four wickets [Jaydev] Unadkat got two.”

It is possible that India needed a third seamer due to the unusual grass cover on the pitch and the misty winter morning. It could also be that with the wicket offering more purchase than Chattogram, the finger spinners in Ashwin and Axar would prove sufficient. And both are better batsmen as well. But what message does this send to Kuldeep?

In the post-match briefing, Umesh Yadav said, “It is a part of the journey and it has happened to me too.” “It is a team management call. It is good that he came back and did well in the last match.

“It is 50-50 wickets. The odd ball is kicking back off length, and if you bowl fuller it is not swinging or doing anything. Ashwin bowled with the new ball and some of it took turn. But not so much with the soft ball. It is doing things in parts. it’s not completely [in favour] Fast bowlers or spinners.

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