If you don’t play him in ODIs then what’s the point: Aakash Chopra on Kuldeep Yadav

Written by Abhishek Patil

Once a regular in the limited-overs format from mid-2017 till the 2019 ODI World Cup, Kuldeep Yadav’s career has taken a downward spiral ever since. The wily wrist spinner’s sporadic appearances for Team India, across formats, have continued to puzzle several former cricketers as well as experts of the game.

In the ongoing England home series, Kuldeep was a part of the India squad who went onto defeat Joe Root-led visitors 3-1 in the four Tests. However, the 26-year-old got only one appearance in the historic series triumph. While he wasn’t a part of India’s squad for the T20Is, having last played in the format in early 2020, the spinner is now currently involved with the team for the three ODIs versus Eoin Morgan & Co.

Prior to the series opener versus England, on Tuesday (March 23), former cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra threw his weight behind Kuldeep.

Chopra told while speaking on  Star Sports Network, “You can try what you want in fast bowling but in the spin department, you should please play both Kuldeep and Chahal because if you don’t play them here also, then what will Kuldeep do. You don’t play him in the Tests or T20s, if you don’t play him in the ODIs also then what’s the point.”

He also opined, “The question that comes to my mind is that if Navdeep Saini was in the T20I team, then why not the ODI team. He didn’t play a single match, Deepak Chahar is another name. Axar Patel is in the Test and T20I teams but not in the ODIs, why so?,” asked Chopra.

Coming back to Kuldeep, the youngster is enduring a tough phase in international cricket at the moment, being way behind in the pecking order. Deep Dasgupta has also backed for his inclusion and recently told Sports Today, “I am glad that Kuldeep Yadav is there as well. You would ideally want Kuldeep to play a few games here. He has been a part of the white-ball teams but basically been a passenger over the last 2 years.”

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Abhishek Patil