The duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, fondly called 'Kul-Cha' by fans, was a regular in the Indian limited-overs playing XI after the 2017 Champions Trophy. Both the spinners achieved a lot of success when they were part of the same XI.
In 34 ODIs the duo played together for India so far, Kuldeep and Chahal combined together to take 118 wickets, with India winning 24 of them. However, after the 2019 World Cup, both the players have hardly featured in the same limited-overs lineup.
Yuzvendra Chahal has made significantly more appearances than Kuldeep Yadav in both the limited-overs formats, with Kuldeep's form dropping considerably in the past few months.
Chahal has now opened up on the lack of duo's appearances in the same XI, explaining the reason behind the decision.
"When Kuldeep Yadav and I used to play, Hardik Pandya was also there and he would bowl. In 2018 Hardik Pandya got injured and Ravindra Jadeja made a comeback (in white-ball cricket) as an all-rounder, the one who could also bat at number 7. Unfortunately, he is a spinner, we could have played together if he was a medium pacer. It was the demand of the team," Chahal told Sports Tak.
"Kuldeep and I played 50-50 matches in any series. Sometimes he would play 3 matches of a five-match series, sometimes I would get the chance. The team combination is needed, 11 players make a team and 'Kul-cha' was not making it. We were there till Hardik was there, we were also given chances. The need of the team was to have an all-rounder at No. 7 position. I am happy even if I am not playing but the team is winning," the leg-spinner further said.
Earlier, Kuldeep also acknowledged the problem.
"When Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) was there, I and Chahal were playing. Ever since Mahi bhai left, Chahal and I haven't played together. I played only a handful of games after Mahibhai left. I must have played ten-odd games. I had even taken a hat-trick. If you look at the performance as a whole, it will look pretty decent but if one breaks it up then my performance sometimes can look not up to the mark. One has to also look at the opposition we are playing against," Kuldeep told Indian Express.