As India switch gear after limited-over series to play Test series in England, former captain Bishan Bedi believes that young spin sensation Kuldeep Yadav will be the man to watch out for when the two teams clash in the longest format. The five-match series will start on August 1 at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
The 23-year-old chinaman bowler has already played two Test matches, with having claimed nine wickets so far. In the recently-concluded T20I series that India won and ODI rubber that England clinched, Kuldeep was among the most successful bowlers. He claimed 14 wickets in five matches with two five-wicket hauls.
Bedi was full of praises for Kuldeep as he told The Independent: "He (Kuldeep) has been quite a revelation – I’ve enjoyed watching him. A few of the batsmen, particularly Joe Root, looked as though they had found him out by the end of the one-day series."
“But my contention has always been that we have to preserve this kid (Yadav). He has to preserved for the longest form of the game. I’m not very enthused by him in T20 and one-day cricket – he has done well, but he must be preserved for the longest version, which is Test cricket," the 71-year-old added.
Bedi, who has 266 wickets to his name from 67 Test matches, strongly believes that the wrist-spinner enjoys his craft and he’s able to transport the fun and enjoyment that he shows to the spectators. "That’s perhaps his valuable attribute. I like to think that he has come along at just the right time, not just for spin bowling in India but spin bowling everywhere.
Kuldeep deceived the best of the batsmen in England initially, though some of them like Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow managed to decode the spin mystery by the end of the ODI series. He couldn't take a single wicket in the third and final ODI of the series, which eventually resulted in England's favour.
Comparing the young Indian spinner with West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers, Bedi said: "Kuldeep is different, he’s a very, very special variety of spinner – the sort we don’t see very often.
“The last one we saw do it really well was Sir Garfield Sobers and he wasn’t too sure about it either. He would end up as an orthodox spinner or a left-arm quick, which shows you not just what an amazing talent he was but also just how hard it is to bowl," he explained.
For the first three matches of the five-Test series, India have included Kuldeep in the 18-member squad along with spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. It would be interesting to see if he manages to make a cut in the playing eleven besides Ashwin and Jadeja.