Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid has spoken about the Indian Test squad selected for the forthcoming tour of England. He agreed with the entire squad but argued that Kuldeep Yadav’s absence could be discussed. The left-arm chinaman has been part of the Indian Test squad for a long time but has not got enough opportunities.
Last year, he toured with the Indian team to Australia. Despite the absence of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI for the last Test, Kuldeep didn’t make a cut. India went with Washington Sundar, who made a successful debut and continued to get opportunities, despite very little to do with the ball.
The left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep played only one match in the subsequent Test series against England at home. He was dropped from the ODI XI as well when India left him out from the series-decider against England. Dravid, while talking about the Uttar Pradesh spinner, said that the ability to bat, which Sundar and Axar Patel possess, is helping them edge over Kuldeep.
They know their best XI even before they leave from here: Rahul Dravid
“It does seem balanced. It’s a 20-member squad. The only other one who could have merited selection would’ve been Kuldeep Yadav, but he’s fallen away over the last little bit. Also, with the kind of recent performances from Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, and Washington Sundar, they’re clear about the kind of balance they want in the squad,” Dravid said during a webinar organized by Live Aid India, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
Axar Patel, who made his Test debut in Jadeja’s absence, took 27 wickets in three Tests against England and also scored some runs. Sundar too has skills of fine batting. Dravid pointed out how Patel and Sundar have emerged as like-for-like replacements as far as Jadeja and Ashwin are concerned. All these four spinners can bat and score significant runs, which Kuldeep can’t. Dravid also said that India might have decided their XI before leaving India.
“With both Ashwin and Jadeja adding value with the bat and having like-for-like replacements in Axar and Washy [Washington Sundar], they’re clear about the direction they want to take. It lengthens their batting and all four finger spinners here allow them to do that. The make-up of the squad tells me they know their best XI even before they leave from here,” Dravid said.
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