The Curious Case of Kuldeep Yadav: Probable Reasons for his Omission

Kuldeep Yadav was the first-ever slow left-arm chinaman bowler to play for India. He got considerable success in ODIs and T20Is for India as well as in the IPL. However, from the past few series, he has been off the radar for the Indian team and even for his IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders.

There is a myriad of reasons why Kuldeep has been often picked in the squad, but side-lined from the playing 11. Few of them are:

1. Inconsistency in Limited overs Internationals:

Post the 2019 World Cup, he has been highly inconsistent in taking wickets in ODIs and it also affected his economy rates. Kuldeep has played 10 out of 15 ODIs India played post the 2019 World Cup and took 12 wickets at an economy rate of 5.96. He averaged 46 with the ball. India won just 5 ODIs, lost 4 and 1 ODI as a no result whenever Kuldeep played post the 2019 World Cup.

Before the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup, he played 51 ODIs and took 93 wickets at an average of 23.43 at an economy rate of 4.95. These stats are in stark contrast to what he reflected post World Cup in ODIss.

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Looks like the opposition batsmen have decoded his bowling variations as they might have got an idea of his variations by data analysis and practise. Kuldeep has limited variations such as wrong’un, big turner and flighted delivery to name a few.

2. Poor economy rate in T20Is:

Post the 2019 World Cup, Kuldeep played 3 T20Is in which one had no result. In the 2 T20I’s, he conceded 83 runs off 8 overs, cumulatively taking 4 wickets. With the right arm offie Washington Sundar bowling economically along with leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, there was no place left for Kuldeep Yadav.

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3. Not a reliable lower order batsman:

Another reason why Kuldeep is unable to earn a place in the Indian Test team is that he is not a reliable batsman. With all Indian pace bowlers barring Hardik Pandya being tail-enders, it becomes impeccable to have a spinner who can bat. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin can bat decently, Ravindra Jadeja is a bowling all-rounder and so is Washington Sundar.

Although Kuldeep has bowled well in tests in given chances, maintaining a bowling average of 24, his inability to bat decently has cost him a spot in the Test team.

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4. Inconsistency in the IPL:

In IPL since 2019, he has taken just 5 wickets in 14 matches played collectively. He took just 4 wickets in 9 matches of IPL 2019 and took just 1 wicket in 5 matches he played in IPL 2020. His economy rates have been unusually high with an average of 8.27 runs per over in the past two years.

This prompted his skipper Dinesh Karthik and later Eoin Morgan to drop him from the playing XI. On the other hand, Varun Chakravarthy, who was chosen in place of Kuldeep has performed well affecting Kuldeep’s chances.

5. Confidence issues:

A quick downfall from being called a premier spinner across the formats by the coach to not playing many matches has affected his confidence.

Thes confidence issues have made him more vulnerable to failure. Several times, he has expressed his lack of confidence in press media, which is one of the reasons for not getting regular chances in the Indian team.

While Kuldeep’s career seems to have come to a standstill, many ex-cricketers are in support of him. Given his talent, many are saying that he will make a strong comeback. One good game can bring him back into the limelight, and given a chance, he will surely grab it with both hands.

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