Going into the World Cup 2019, India boasted of the best spin bowling attack, led by the ‘Kul-Cha’ (Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal). This pair had troubled each and every opposition and had become a deadly pair. The best part that distinguished them from others was the ‘fearless’ attribute.
Unfortunately, the World Cup turned out to be a disaster, particularly for Kuldeep. Following this sequence of events, captain Virat Kohli has refrained to play both of them together, and rather bank upon a proper spin all-rounder. Many experts, including Irfan Pathan and Kris Srikkanth, have backed the two, but they haven’t played a single game together since the World Cup.
With the T20I World Cup scheduled to be held in November, the team would like to figure out its best combination. Playing the ‘Kul-Cha’ together has its own set of advantages.
Let us take a look at a few reasons why the two should play together:
1. Favourable Australian conditions
The Australian conditions have always offered a lot to the wrist spinners, the biggest example being of Shane Warne, who scalped 319 test and 136 ODI wickets in Australia. Both Kuldeep and Chahal too enjoyed bowling in those conditions, when the team last toured here. The former scalped 4 wickets in 3-game T20I series against the home team, whereas the latter’s best ODI figures of 6-42 have come in Australia itself.
Undoubtedly, bigger grounds suit the game of both the spinners, since they can flight the ball without caring about being hit for sixes. Most of the wrist spinners don’t depend upon assistance from the deck to implement their variations, a major reason for their success. On the other hand, fingers spinners don’t usually get any assistance from the pitches, which makes life difficult for them.
Therefore, it won’t make much sense if Virat Kohli plays any other finger spinner other the Ravindra Jadeja. The ‘Kul-Cha’ can be deadly in these conditions, and trouble any batting lineup.
2. Hunting in a pair
It’s a no brainer that the two become even more lethal when they play together. The ability to contain runs during the middle overs is the key to scalp wickets. And together, they do it from both ends, thereby piling up loads of pressure on the batsmen which ultimately leads to their downfall.
Since the Champions Trophy 2017, India has tried many combinations in the spin department, but the ‘Kul-Cha’ one has given the team their best win-loss ratio, as well as excellent strike rate and economy. The need for more all-rounders in the T20s has made the team refrain from playing both of them together, but this has significantly reduced the number of wickets in the middle overs.
Therefore Virat Kohli can play these two together. Once Hardik Pandya comes back, he and Ravindra Jadeja will add more than enough batting depth, but what nobody else can provide you is a dominating option from both the ends in the middle overs.
3. Left-right combination
Many a time, the batsmen get used to the line and length of the delivery if a single spinner is bowling at a time. This predictability leads to him being taken on demand. However, this scenario is next to impossible when the ‘Kul-Cha’ plays together since their left-right combination always keeps the batsmen guessing.
Both the leggies bring their different skillsets to the table, and the batsmen can never get used to a particular delivery. While Kuldeep is a master in flighting the ball, Chahal can trouble the batsmen with his googlies and drift. Also, chinaman bowlers are a rare commodity, and the batsmen usually find it difficult to tackle them.
All this leads to the batsman remaining in doubt throughout his innings. Unable to accelerate during the middle overs, the pressure to build up, which leads to wickets. The ‘Kul-Cha’ might have fallen off the menu for some time now, but it should not be very long when the two again launch their onslaught on the poor batsmen. It’s just a matter of time!
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