Up until 2019, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal rocked opposition batsmen with their spin and the duo also had a very impressive World Cup campaign in England. The wrist-spinners were among the most successful bowlers in the world building up to the World Cup and their variations and deceit brought rich rewards for them.
Three years since then and the situation is vastly different. Kuldeep Yadav has been relegated to the bench and has hardly found game-time. Even when he did get little opportunities, he looked far from convincing. Chahal’s form has also come under question and he hasn’t been able to pick wickets consistently or keep things tight with his spell.
This adds to India’s spin bowling woes ahead of the T20 World Cup according to former India pacer Ajit Agarkar. He thinks that Kuldeep needs to regain his confidence and get game-time if he wants to be included in India’s T20 World Cup squad.
Kuldeep hasn’t played a T20I for India since January 2020 and Agarkar feels that it’s a little ‘unfair’ on the spinner. “Sometimes I feel that it was a little bit unfair on him (Kuldeep) to miss out on series. But he needs to get his confidence back and start bowling well. Both him and Chahal know there are guys behind them and if you have a competition, the team will do well,” said Agarkar in a virtual press conference.
While suggesting that India needs to improve its spin-bowling department ever since Chahal and Kuldeep stopped playing together, Agarkar also threw his weight behind players like Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy who can force their name into the T20 World Cup squad with a solid string of performances.
“Spin has been a little bit of a worry for India, especially after Chahal and Kuldeep stopped playing together but there are players like Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakraborty and if those guys can do well, it will give more options to Virat Kohli.
“T20 World Cup is not too far away so it is a good opportunity for the guys to put pressure on players who are already in the team to make their case. These performances won’t get unnoticed,” he added.
Ajit Agarkar is of the opinion that players who are more consistent in the upcoming white-ball games might find themselves being a part of the Indian setup for the T20 World Cup.
“There are always those two or three slots the guys are fighting for, and that’s why it becomes a lot more important for the consistency coming up ahead of the World Cup.
“It’s an opportunity for these guys to cement their place and there is an IPL as well, so there are lots of opportunities coming in especially in white-ball cricket,” Agarkar concluded.