Kuldeep’s impressive spin bowling skills were on full display during the Asia Cup, where he claimed a total of 9 wickets in just 5 matches, boasting an extraordinary average of 11.44 and an economic bowling rate of 3.61.
However, with India’s first World Cup game slated against Australia, the team’s management, led by Rohit Sharma, is intent on keeping their cards close to the chest, not allowing the opposition to become too familiar with Kuldeep’s bowling style before the critical tournament commences.
Rohit acknowledged that Kuldeep is a bowler who thrives on rhythm and highlighted the careful considerations that went into this decision.
“We have been looking at Kuldeep for the last one, one and a half years, this is why we don’t want to expose him a lot. He is coming back for the last match,” Rohit Sharma stated.
He emphasised the importance of providing opportunities to players who had only featured in a single game at the Asia Cup and were part of the World Cup squad.
Moreover, Sharma outlined the team’s upcoming plans, stating, “We also have two practice matches [before the World Cup opener], so for the bowling rhythm, he will be back in it.”
This strategic approach aims to ensure that Kuldeep returns to form and is at his best when India face off against Australia in the ODI World Cup.
The ODI series between India and Australia is set to kick off on September 22 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
India’s squad for Australia series:
For first two ODIs: KL Rahul (capt), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar
For third ODI: Rohit Sharma (capt), Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), R Ashwin, Washington Sundar.