If Kuldeep Yadav performs consistently, he can be in India’s squad for ODI World Cup: Maninder Singh

If Kuldeep Yadav performs consistently, he can be in India’s squad for ODI World Cup: Maninder Singh

ODI World Cup: Kuldeep Yadav‘s comeback performance in IPL 2022, in which he bowled more quickly and confidently while picking 21 wickets for Delhi Capitals, was a very encouraging sight. During India’s T20I series against South Africa in June, many people anticipated that his illustrious streak would continue.

But due to a hand injury, he was unable to play in the series, go to Ireland and England, or the ODIs against the West Indies. In the fifth T20I match against the West Indies in Lauderhill, he finally got his chance, capturing three wickets in an outstanding bowling display in which spinners claimed all 10 wickets.

Former India left-arm spinner Maninder Singh thinks Kuldeep’s recent outstanding performances have been a tremendous plus, and if the left-arm wristspinner keeps up his steady play, he may make India’s ODI World Cup selection next year.

“Kuldeep Yadav’s performance had started to go down. But the way he made a comeback while playing for Delhi Capitals this year, it was showing that he had worked hard. Seeing a player’s expressions when on the field and body language is enough to say that the player had worked hard when coming back to playing cricket. The great performance he had for Delhi Capitals and the confidence he got from there was there to see on the field in the (recent) international cricket match (fifth T20I against West Indies).”

If Kuldeep Yadav performs consistently, he can be in India's squad for ODI World Cup: Maninder Singh
If Kuldeep Yadav performs consistently, he can be in India’s squad for ODI World Cup: Maninder Singh

“I still think he needs to perform consistently and if he does that constantly on the field, then he can be in the ODI World Cup which will happen in India in 2023. He brings a different variety as he’s a left-arm chinaman (wrist-spin) and has the knack of picking wickets when he started out in international cricket, which is very important in the middle overs to stem the run-rate of the opposition,” said Maninder.

Kuldeep’s recent performances, according to Maninder, are a significant plus, especially considering that he lost favour in the second half of IPL 2021 owing to a combination of his poor form and a knee injury received while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders.

“This is a very big positive as, according to me. The way he was fading and was not handled well, it felt as if a talented bowler could be lost. Because of this, I had made one-two comments previously that if he stays away from T20 cricket. It would be better for him. But this can’t happen, you can just think about it as a lot of money is involved and a player needs money in life for security. He has worked hard because of which he has got great results.”

Kuldeep’s teammate in the Delhi Capitals, left-arm spin all-rounder Axar Patel, has received attention. After scoring an unbeaten 64 off 35 balls, which was also his first fifty in ODI cricket. India defeated the West Indies in Trinidad in the second ODI and swept the series.

Patel’s recent batting performance pleased Maninder, but he still hopes to see more of his reliable results. He recalled a Gujarat player’s praise for Patel’s hitting skills while they were teammates on the field.

“Last year, I was talking to a player from Gujarat who’s played alongside him. And was constantly praising his batting skills. When he bats, he becomes a very graceful batsman and has got great shots which we didn’t see before. I had seen one or two glimpses of it but a big score was due. But now that he bowls well and has got the confidence, it is blooming very well with the bat. I would like to see more of him in the batting if he performs consistency.”

Maninder concluded by stating that if Patel performs regularly, selectors will have a difficult time. Especially considering Jadeja’s history of injury-related match absences. “One thing which is there to see is that as he plays more of international cricket. His self-belief is growing, which is good for both the Indian team and Axar Patel. But it’s better for the Indian team as Ravindra Jadeja gets injured in between and has to miss some series. Then make a comeback. Also, he is getting older.

“In that case, Axar Patel, with the batting performance he showed against the West Indies. And the exploits he did, if he continues to put it out consistently, it will be great. He can be a headache for the selectors as Jadeja has performed wonderfully. But this competition is very good for any team as a senior player like Jadeja. He sees over his shoulder that someone is ready to take his spot. Then he works even harder, which is great for any team,” said Maninder ahead of the series against Zimbabwe.

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