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Kuldeep Yadav’s mystery spin and ability to block with bat make him indispensable in Tests

Kuldeep Yadav’s mystery spin and ability to block with bat make him indispensable in Tests

IND vs ENG: Kuldeep Yadav is no dud with the bat, and has a FC ton to his name, to go with six fifties in 39 matches.

Who would have thought before the IND vs ENG Test series, that chinaman Kuldeep Yadav would emerge as India’s most valuable player. While no one could ever doubt his ability, it just boiled down to the fact, if the 29-year-old had the temperament to do well in the longest format of the game.

He was the fourth spinner in the pecking order, after R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel, but with 17 wickets, and counting, in the four Tests, he has finally arrived in Tests as well. Be it his four wickets in the Ranchi Test, in the second innings, or his fifer in the Dharamshala Test in the first innings, the English have found it tough to deal with Kuldeep. In fact, he is one of the top-wicket takers in the series.

The X-Factor in Kuldeep Yadav

So far, like has been the case with his bowling in the white-ball formats, it’s evident that the batsmen have failed to pick up which way the ball will turn. And that has been his biggest success mantra. But that isn’t really enough for him to be guaranteed starter for India. What really makes the difference is his batting lower down the order.

In a series where all Indian batsmen, starting from Rohit Sharma, and Yashasvi Jaiswal, to Jadeja and Dhruv Jurel, have performed exceptionally well, Kuldeep the batter has emerged as the one, who can stick around, when the situation demands. In Rajkot, in the second innings, he scored 27 from 91 deliveries.

In Ranchi, he combined well with Jurel to score tough 28 from 131 balls, while the latter scored 90. The duo added crucial 76, when India was reeling at 177/7. And now, in Dharamshala, he scored 30 from 69.

Kuldeep the Batter Pips Ben Stokes & Jonny Bairstow

Without any doubt, Kuldeep the batter has limitations, but having faced 362 balls in the six innings he has batted in the series, show that he is willing to fight it out in the middle. For the record, England skipper Ben Stokes (357) and Jonny Bairstow (259) have faced lesser deliveries, in nine innings each.


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