‘Kuldeep is a guy with a special skill set’
India's chairman of the selection committee Ajit Agarkar was very excited to see their left-arm spinner doing well against various opponents ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
Kuldeep Yadav has been in a rich vein of form over the last few months. Recently, he was named the Player of the Series in the Asia Cup, where he picked nine wickets at an average of 11.44. This included a 5/25 against Pakistan in a record win by 228 runs.
Overall, his run has been exceptional. He has picked 31 ODI wickets at an average of 15.51 since the beginning of 2023. In the T20Is, he has eight wickets at an average of 17.62 in the same time period.
His last Test appearance ended in a Player of the Match award for his 8/113 against Bangladesh in December 2022.
While he's India's lead spinner for the global mega event, the spinner has been rested for the first two ODIs in the upcoming series against Australia.
Speaking to the press after announcing the squad for the Australia games, Agarkar called Kuldeep a player with a special skill set and believed that the faith and confidence shown by the team management was bearing fruits in the right direction.
"I have spent a couple of years with him in the IPL," Agarkar said. "He's a guy with a special skill set, you can see that. Every player needs to be shown faith, given a bit of confidence which is what the Indian team management has done. And it's probably showing on the field right now."
Agarkar believed that Kuldeep was India's trump card, adding that most teams were finding him a challenge to play.
"You can see in various conditions against various oppositions. He's one of India's trump cards. So we're very happy for him and excited to see what he's doing on the cricket field at the moment.
"And hopefully he can continue doing that, because clearly most teams are finding him a challenge. All of us are very excited with what lies ahead."
India have already announced their 15-member squad for the upcoming Cricket World Cup. Their spin options include Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel apart from Kuldeep.
After the three-game ODI series against Australia, India will play two warm-up fixtures against England and Netherlands respectively. They begin their World Cup campaign against Australia on 8 October at Chennai