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NEW DELHI: When a player is named man of the match for his heroism, it is almost certain that he will keep his place in the next match but this was not the case with Kuldeep Yadav.
The Indian team’s management created a major surprise by ruling out the Indian’s left arm spinner Kuldeep playing eleven for the current second Test against Bangladesh and opted for an additional pacer in Jaydev Unadkat
Kuldeep was instrumental in India’s 188 run victory in the first Test with his five wickets in the opening leg besides scoring 40 useful runs. He also contributed with three wickets in the second leg.
The decision also didn’t go down well with former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar, who said: “To let go of a man of the match is unbelievable. That’s the only word I can use and that’s a soft word. I would like to use stronger words, but it’s amazing that you left out a ‘man of the match’.”
But senior pacer Umesh Yadav came out in favor of the decision and said it was a “call from management”, something every cricketer has to deal with.
“It’s part of your journey. It’s happened to me too. Sometimes you’re absent from the team because of performance and sometimes it’s a call from the management. You have to comply with the demands of the team” , Umesh told reporters after the end of the first day of play.
“It’s good for him (Kuldeep) that he came back and performed well (in the first test at Chattogram).”
Spearheading the pace attack in the absence of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh came back with numbers of 15-4-25-4, while veteran off-spin Ravichandran Ashwin also grabbed four wickets (21 ,5-3-71-4) to beat Bangladesh. for a measly 227. In response, India was 19 for no loss to the stumps on day one.
Left-arm pacer Unadkat, who was playing the test after more than a decade, justified his inclusion by giving the first breakthrough, dismissing last-game centurion Zakir Hasan with a delivery that came back into the southpaw.
“When he (Unadkat) made his debut, I was with him in South Africa. So I’m very happy for him that he finally got his chance. He performed well in the domestic season,” said Umesh.
“When he entered the bowl with the new ball, the ball hurt a little, many balls took the gash of the batter’s gloves,” he said of Unadkat who came back with day digits of 2/50.
“We knew that Unadkat was used to playing these types of wickets and could play both ways, so he had to keep playing in the right areas and test the batters’ patience.”
It looked like an under par total by the hosts but Umesh said they (the Indian bowlers) need to keep playing well.
“In testing you can’t just say a total. You have to keep bowling well. It’s a good performance with the way the wicket is playing, weird ball spins, some holding off It was a good bowling show to keep them under 300.”
When asked if the Indian bowlers had it easy against the Bangladeshi batters, he replied: “No batting formation is easy, you just can’t come and knock them out. The test of cricket is the hardest format. You have to keep bowling and hitting well. Test cricket is all about patience.
“It’s kind of a 50-50 wicket. It’s not entirely for pacers or spinners. Some balls do something and some don’t. We have to be patient and play in the right areas. The strange ball bounces off the back of the length,” he said of the wicket.
(With PTI inputs)



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