Harbhajan Singh Back Kuldeep Yadav As India’s First-choice Overseas Bowler

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Kuldeep Yadav has already 24 scalps to his name in just 10 innings in red-ball cricket as he continues to torment batsmen with his trickery, Indian Head Coach Ravi Shastri backed Kuldeep by terming him as Team India’s ‘number one overseas bowler’. Now, veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh has also backed the 24-year-old to be the Men in Blue’s frontline spinner for the future.

Harbhajan, while agreeing with Shastri regarding Kuldeep being the ace spin option for India, explained how the chinaman bowler overshadowed Ravichandran Ashwin in Test cricket.

“With what Ravi bhai has said about Kuldeep being your no.1 spinner in overseas conditions, I think the team is now going to that zone where they are looking for wicket-taking options. Look, Ashwin started off so well in England and was a joy to watch in the first Test but he lost his way as the series progressed and Moeen Ali overshadowed him. It’s a tough call but I am sure it’s in the best interest of the team,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying by India Today.

“Ashwin’s home record is impressive but his overseas record is not the same. That’s why the team management thinks Kuldeep should be preferred over Ashwin. He made most of the opportunity he got. To get five wickets away like he did at Sydney is no mean task. I think Jadeja did well too by performing at Melbourne, Sydney and at the Oval in England. So I think this spin duo could take things forward from here,” the 38-year-old further added.

Earlier, Shastri has said that he was left impressed by how Kuldeep bowled in the fourth and final Test match in Sydney against Australia. The chinaman bowler picked up a five-for in the first innings of the match, which ended up in a draw after being hit by rain.

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N Krishnamurthy