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Team India’s preparations for the ODI World Cup have started, as the marquee event is set to begin later this year. They’re currently facing Sri Lanka and will be hosting New Zealand next. The Men in Blue will then be hosting the mighty Australians for the all-important Border Gavaskar Trophy which includes four Test matches. It will also be the last Test series for both sides and will decide their fate for the World Test Championship final.
While Australia have dominated the top spot for a long time in the WTC rankings, India are second, courtesy of their win against Bangladesh last month. There is much enthusiasm for the team that the Indian selectors would choose as Team India steadily prepare for that series. In India, spin has traditionally played a significant role in determining the outcome of a series.
Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes that Kuldeep Yadav will be India’s “X-Factor” over left-arm spinner Axar Patel and seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Kuldeep, who has consistently been overlooked by the Indian think-tank, once again proved his worth on Thursday in the second ODI against Sri Lanka. Kuldeep was named Man of the Match after returning with figures of 3/51 in 10 overs.
“He was always there. It’s just about his confidence. Whatever we have seen of Rohit Sharma, he can give that confidence to young bowlers. Now it’s time that they should persist with Kuldeep Yadav. His bowing a lot in international cricket will be crucial in the Australia Test series. If you keep him in the sheds and don’t make him play one-day format and you suddenly bring him for the Test series, there’s going to be less bowling under his belt,” Gambhir said in a conversation with Star Sports.
Kuldeep should be playing every 50-over format game till the Australia Test series: Gambhir
Kuldeep Yadav was a part of the side in India’s recent Test series against Bangladesh. During the first innings, he displayed his batting skills by putting up a well-built 40(114) as he shared a crucial 87-run partnership with Ashwin as India posted 404 runs. He then picked up a five-wicket haul which resulted in hosts Bangladesh being dished out for 150 runs. Kuldeep was clinical with the ball as he scalped three wickets in the next innings to bag the Player of the Match award.
“I feel that he should be playing every 50-over format game till the Australia Test series because he is going to be very important factor in that series. For me, he is going to be the x-factor ahead of R Ashwin, Axar Patel,” he added.
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