Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm spinner, was left out of India’s playing XI for the first Test against England on Friday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Despite having three specialist spinners in the starting XI (Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, and Shahbaz Nadeem), Kuldeep was left out. Fans reacted angrily to Kuldeep’s exclusion on social media, with many sympathising with the spinner, who last played a Test almost two years ago in Sydney, where he picked up a five-wicket haul. He has been a regular member of India’s Test squad since then, but has only featured in five of the 13 Test matches the country has played in that period. Kuldeep has 24 wickets in the six Tests he has played so far, including two five-wicket hauls.
Many fans were irritated that Kuldeep was left out of the playing XI while Shabaz Nadeem, who was only added to the Test squad after Axar Patel was ruled out due to injury just hours before the toss, was.
Mohammad Kaif, a former India batsman, also took to Twitter to share his feelings about Kuldeep Yadav’s exclusion.
Kuldeep was touted as India’s first-choice Test spinner two years ago, but he is now finding it difficult to get a game, even in home conditions, according to Kaif.
Kuldeep Yadav was touted as India’s first-choice spinner in Tests just two years ago. He’s now fighting to remain afloat. But he didn’t have to dig far for ideas. Both Ashwin and Pant overcame periods of self-doubt. Keep going, Kuldeep!” Kaid sent out a tweet.
Here’s how fans reacted:
Apart from the spinners, India had two frontline fast bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma going into the match.
Though Bumrah makes his home Test debut, senior fast bowler Ishant returns to the side after missing the Australia tour due to injury.
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Following his paternity leave, skipper Virat Kohli returned to the team, with Mayank Agarwal making way for him.
Ashiwn returned after missing the Brisbane Test, while Washington Sundar was brought in as an all-rounder to help with the batting and Nadeem, the left-arm orthodox, was brought in to help with the spin department.