Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Hosts India got the test of their own medicines when they were defeated by 28 runs in the first Test against England on a slow turner in Hyderabad.

The visitors managed to tackle the spin troika of experienced Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadaja and Axar Patel well with their aggressive brand of Bazball cricket to come up with flying colours.

However, in a set back to the Indian team, World No.1 all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out of the second Test due to injury. It will certainly give a chance to the Chinaman wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav a chance in the playing XI.

However, Kuldeep will return to the longer format after 14 months. He has just played eight Tests in seven years, despite an impressive tally of 34 wickets with an average of 21. Even in his last Test against Bangladesh in Chattogram, he captured eight wickets and was adjudged man of the match. But in the era of India’s most prolific spin pair–Jadeja and Ashwin, the dilemma of selectors is understandable.

By being a left-arm wrist-spinner, Kuldeep offers a different proposition. The angles and trajectories he treads are different. His release points and lengths are also different. Most batsmen are unaccustomed to the rare tribes of his kind. Moreover, his variations are also pretty impressive. He has a stock ball that comes in to the right-handed batsmen.

Kuldeep also has the wrong one, the flipper, and the quicker one in his armoury. He could be India’s antidote against the English batsman who adopted reverse-sweeps effectively in the opening Test. Now, he has also conquered the art of modulating pace without any discernible changes in variations.

As per former India spinner Sunil Joshi, Kuldeep’s biggest strength is to spin the ball. Moreover, the Bazball style of cricket by the English side has not yet been tested by a quality wrist-spinner in their march. So, Kuldeep’s quality wrist spin will be the real litmus test for the visitors in the second Test.

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