NEW DELHI: When a player is adjudged the man of the match for his heroics, it is all but sure for him to retain his place in the following match but that was not the case with Kuldeep Yadav.
The Indian team management sprung a major surprise by excluding the left-arm spinner Kuldeep from the Indian playing eleven for the ongoing second Test against Bangladesh and opted for an extra pacer in Jaydev Unadkat
Kuldeep played a decisive role in India’s 188-run win in the first Test with his five-wicket haul in the first innings besides scoring a useful 40 runs. He also chipped in with three wickets in the second innings.
The move also did not go well with former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar, saying “Dropping a Man of the Match, that is unbelievable. That’s the only word I can use and it’s a gentle word. I would like to use quite stronger words, but it’s unbelievable that you left out a ‘man of the match’.”
But senior pacer Umesh Yadav has come out in favour of the decision and said it’s a “management call”, something every cricketer has to deal with.
“It’s part of your journey. It happened to me also. Sometimes you are out of the team because of performance and sometimes it’s a management’s call. You have to go with the team’s requirements,” Umesh told reporters after the end of first day’s play.
“It’s good for him (Kuldeep) that he came back and performed well (in the first Test in Chattogram).”
Spearheading the pace attack in the absence of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh returned with figures of 15-4-25-4, while veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also grabbed four wickets (21.5-3-71-4) to bowl Bangladesh out for a paltry 227. In reply, India were 19 for no loss at the stumps on day one.
Left-arm pacer Unadkat, who was playing the Test after more than a decade, justified his inclusion by giving the first breakthrough, dismissing last match centurion Zakir Hasan with a delivery that came back into the southpaw.
“When he (Unadkat) made his debut I was with him in South Africa. So, I’m very happy for him that he finally got his chance. He has performed well in the domestic season,” said Umesh.
“When he came into bowl with the new ball, the ball was doing a bit, many balls took the nick of batter’s gloves,” he said of Unadkat who returned with day’s figures of 2/50.
“We knew that Unadkat is used to bowl on these types of wickets and can swing it both ways. So he just had to keep bowling in the right areas and test the batters’ patience.”
It seemed to be an under-par total by the hosts but Umesh said they (Indian bowlers) have to keep bowling well.
“In Tests, you can’t just say a total. You have to keep bowling well. It’s a good performance with the way the wicket is playing, odd ball turning, some keeping out. It was a good bowling show to keep them under 300.”
Asked if the Indian bowlers had it easy against the Bangladeshi batters, he said: “No batting lineup is easy, you just can’t come and get them out. Test cricket is the toughest format. You have to keep bowling and batting well. Test cricket is all about patience.
“It’s a 50-50 kind of wicket. It’s not fully for the pacers or the spinners. Some of the balls are doing something and some not doing. We have to be patient and bowl in the right areas. The odd ball is bouncing from the back of length,” he said about the wicket.
(With PTI Inputs)





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