Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has asked for the recall of Kuldeep Yadav in India’s white-ball setup following the series loss in South Africa.
Indian bowlers were rendered ineffective by the South African batters in both the ODIs. In the first ODI, the Men In Blue conceded 296 and lost by 31 runs while in the second game, the hosts cantered to the target of 288 with 7 wickets in hand, taking home the series with one game to go.
Apart from the lack of wickets with the new ball, another major concerning factor is that the spinners – Ravichandran Ashwin, recalled to the ODI side after 4 years, and Yuzvendra Chahal, not a trusted spinner now – found it difficult to contain the runs and chip in with wickets.
Sanjay Manjrekar reflected on the 2018 series when Chahal and his spin-partner Kuldeep Yadav wreaked havoc in the South African line-up picking up 33 wickets combined in that series.
Kuldeep Yadav’s form after the 2019 World Cup dipped significantly and was pushed out of the squad. However, Manjrekar reckons the chinaman should be given a comeback as India needs his mystery element to pick wickets in the middle-overs.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Sanjay Manjrekar said, “India need to go back to those times where they used to get wickets in the middle overs. So this spin attack that India has is not their best and Ashwin has a long-standing track record of that but Chahal who has been a successful Indian white-ball spinner but you see that his powers may be waning.
“This spin attack is not the ideal one for India on a long-term basis. It is time for India to go back to Kuldeep Yadav and he has the record of running through sides. Kuldeep will come back into reckoning.”
Sanjay Manjrekar was critical of Ashwin’s selection in the white-ball teams. The senior off-spinner made his return to the T20I line-up at the T20 World Cup and now found a place in the ODI eleven.
Manjrekar was blunt in stating that he doesn’t rate Ashwin highly in limited-overs cricket and that the premier off-spinner hasn’t made any head turns to earn this recall.
“See Ashwin, I have been maintaining right from the start of the series that he has sneaked back into India’s white-ball plans for no reason. It is not that he has made a strong claim for a comeback, but somehow the thinking has changed and he has come back into the plans. Hopefully, now, India will realize that he is not an impact spinner that India needs,” the 56-year-old opined.