Kuldeep Yadav has been no less than a revelation so far for India in the Test series. He picked up 14 wickets in the limited overs series and was special for India. Now with the five-match Test series coming up, former England spinner Phil Tufnell has batted for Kuldeep's inclusion in all the five Tests for India. Tufnell was full of praise for Yadav, marking him as a rarity.
"You don't come across too many left-arm wrist spinners. There are a few leg spinners around across all formats. Kuldeep is a rare bowler. When you come across his type of bowling, you need to really work it out because it is something you haven't seen before. It is a special thing, and a rarity really," said Tufnell.
When asked if Yadav should be in the playing eleven for the first Test starting in Birmingham on August 1, he replied, "I would definitely play him."
"It's a good thing India haven't sent Kuldeep home. Just look at the weather we have had. I think it is set to be similarly fair for the next month or so.
"This series was a bit about bragging rights. England can raise their neck a bit. You could have said the same about India as well. Beating England here would have given them a bit of up-man-ship if they meet next year.
"And I think they will, because these two sides are poised to make it far in the World Cup. They would meet in a semi-final or final for sure. They are two very good sides, batting deep and possessing clever wicket-taking bowlers.
"So I can see these two teams progressing far in the World Cup. If they meet in the final, it will be a crackerjack. It is a game we would all want to see," he said.
Kuldeep Yadav took 6-25 in the first ODI at Nottingham, but then returned 3/68 and 0/55 in the next two matches at Lord's and Leeds. Yuzvendra Chahal managed only 2/135 across the three games.
In comparison, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali shared eight wickets between them to bowl England to victory. Rashid, in particular, was quite impressive with hauls of 2-38 and 3-49 in the last two games where the Indian batting faltered.
"Indian batsmen are very adept at playing spin bowling and have done so all their lives. (But) Rashid and Ali have a very good partnership going at the moment. They are very experienced in one-day cricket and were top of their game with some really dry weather here," Tufnell said.
"Plus, the pitches have been turning. If the pitches are turning, you have always got a chance as a spin bowler and it doesn't matter who you are playing against."
"Kuldeep started the series very well but things changed at Lord's. It made a big difference that despite losing early wickets in that second game, England looked to play him on the backfoot and that worked. In the last two games, England showed more calm when the Indian spinners come on first of all."
"When Kuldeep started bowling fuller, they were knocking him down the ground. So the way Joe went changed the momentum of the series and it was a bit of masterclass," he concluded.
(Inputs from Cricketnext)