‘Bumrah, Shami, Siraj, Jadeja, Ashwin’: Legendary Spinner Excludes Kuldeep from India’s First-choice Bowling Attack for World Cup – News18

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Last Updated: October 03, 2023, 14:08 IST

(From left) Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin (AFP Photo)

While Kuldeep Yadav is the leading wicket-taker for India in ODIs this year, Ravichandran Ashwin made his ODI comeback last month after a long absence.

Kuldeep Yadav has no doubt been one of India’s top performers in ODIs this year as the stats confirm. In just 17 matches in 2023, the left-arm spinner has grabbed 33 wickets to be the team’s leading wicket-taker in the format so far.

However, Harbhajan Singh feels that it should be Ravichandran Ashwin who should be the first or second name on the sheet when picking the ideal Indian bowling attack for the 2023 ODI World Cup that starts from October 5.

Also Read: WC Winner Backs R Ashwin’s Inclusion in India Squad, Feels Sorry for Axar Patel

Interestingly, Ashwin made his ODI comeback during the Australia series last month after a gap of nearly 20 months but he did impress by picking up four wickets in two matches.

In addition, Ashwin wasn’t picked in India’s initial squad for the world cup and came in as replacement for Axar Patel later on.

“People are realising that skill is more important. It’s not like an offspinner shouldn’t bowl to right-handers. Even I mentioned that Ashwin should play if the opposition has more left-handers, but that is what the management thinks? But if I was captain of the team or part of management, I would pick my five best bowlers and Ashwin would be first or second on that list,” Harbhajan said on ESPNcricinfo.

And when asked to pick his preferred bowling line-up and he responded with, “If I had to pick today, it would be (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami, (Mohammed) Siraj, (Ravindra) Jadeja, Ashwin.”

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Ravi Shastri says the inclusion of Kuldeep in India’s playing XI isn’t a given and it will depend a lot on the opposition unless the wristspinner has a brilliant start to the campaign.

“You have to be flexible,” Shastri said. “I will go one step ahead and watch the oppositions and think how they will play whom. And now that Ashwin is in the 15, it makes a challenge for the XI all the time.”

“Kuldeep is not a certainty, unless he comes in and starts off brilliantly. Yes, there is no question about Kuldeep’s performance. He has been bowling at his best after a long time but on a certain day and on a certain track, if the pitch is dry, you would want only two fast bowlers because there is Hardik Pandya as well,” he added.

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