‘You also want to see good cricket’: Kuldeep Yadav on missing rank turners for India-England series | Cricket News

RAJKOT: Over the years, roughly from the 2012-13 home season, when India’s then Test skipper MS Dhoni insisted that he wanted wickets in India to turn from ball 1, India have dominated opposition teams through a major ploy-raging turners on which the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel have been almost unplayable at times, demolishing batting line-ups in no time.
It resulted in India being almost unbeatable at home, with many teams not even lasting four days as the visiting batsmen, and sometimes the hosts too, succumbed to the spinners in no time. As much as the fans were pleased with India’s relentless win streak, the cricket made for boring, one-way traffic, with the pace bowlers having little or no role to play as the spinners held sway on pitches where the batsmen were never sure about being well-set.
The script for the ongoing thrilling five-Test series between India and England, though, is following a refreshingly different pattern. Played on slow turners-the pitch for the third Test too is likely to be of similar nature-the first two Tests have produced a fair number of runs, with both the matches lasting four days. While England made 246 & 420 in their first innings at Hyderabad, India made 436 & 202. In the second Test at Visakhapatnam, India made 396 & 255, while England made 253 and 292. If Ollie Pope’s fighting 196-run knock at Hyderabad fashioned England’s stunning comeback after conceding a 190-run lead, Yashasvi Jaiswal‘s blazing 209 lit up Vizag and brought India back into the series.
Few would have imagined ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah would lead the wicket-taking charts for India in a home series, having taken 15 scalps @10.66, over veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has had to sweat it out for his nine [email protected], after the first two Tests.
Quizzed on why the rank turners had been missing in this series so far, India’s chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, while talking to the media a couple of days ahead of the third Test between India and England, replied that he too didn’t have much clue about them, though he did say that “for good cricket, it’s important that the wickets are good.”
“I have no idea. I haven’t played on rank turners. I did not play in the last series (the Border Gavaskar series in February-March last year) at home. So, I do not know what our approach or thinking would be. It is basically the team management’s decision. Obviously, all of you also want to watch good cricket. For good cricket, it’s important (that the wickets are good),” Kuldeep said on Tuesday.
Should rank turners be dished out for home Tests? Kuldeep was non-committal on the topic. “I do not know that, I enjoy playing whenever I should get an opportunity to play, whether it is on a flat track or on a rank turner. I feel that keeping our batting in mind, batting too is important for us, and not just spin bowling. But if you see overall everything is important. See, overall, everything is important. The fast bowlers also come into play, like you saw in the last match. So (good wickets) are good for cricket. It is not (the case) that you will not get to see rank turners going forward. Hopefully in the future you will see (turning tracks),” he said.
Terming the Rajkot pitch as “good”, Kuldeep said, “It is not going to be a rank turner, but will be a good wicket. When we say it is going to be a batting (friendly) wicket we do not mean that 700-800 runs will be scored here, but it will be a better wicket compared to playing on a rank turner. I hope it helps the spinners who play.”
‘Think Jadeja will play’
If Ravindra Jadeja, who missed the last Test at Vizag due to a hamstring injury, plays at Rajkot, Kuldeep is likely to sit out, with left-arm spinner Axar Patel being preferred over him. Kuldeep was confident that Jadeja, who trained on Monday, would be available for the third Test.
“I think so. He is doing his routine (work). He did one session yesterday and I think he is available. I am not (even) sure of my position because there are two days left for the game. If I get the opportunity, I will be more than happy. I do not think too much about if I am playing or not — I just enjoy my day and keep working hard and that is my process,” said the man from Kanpur.
Kuldeep, who played his first Test of the series at Vizag where he took three for 71 & 1-60, is relishing the chance to pit himself against England’s ‘Bazball’ approach, which involves non-stop attacking cricket by their batsmen.
“Usually, in Test cricket, you are not used to having someone with such an attacking batting approach. But at the same time you are more involved in the game. As a spinner you are more focused on the game, how you are going to bowl and what your approach will be. Sometimes in Test cricket, you are not overly worried if the batter would attack much and you focus on how to dismiss them. But here the approach is different, they are in attacking mode so you have to plan on how to restrict them because (if they are) playing more shots then more opportunities are being created to take a wicket. It is interesting, the last game was my first (of the series) and I enjoyed it a lot and it is good for cricket too,” explained the 29-year-old.


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