IND v AUS 2023: Former selectors weigh in on “Akshar Patel vs Kuldeep Yadav” debate for third spinner slot

Akshar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav are likely to compete for the third spinner slot.

Akshar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav | GettyFormer BCCI selectors Jatin Paranjape and Devang Gandhi have weighed in on India's third spinner debate ahead of the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.

While R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are likely to feature in the playing XI, Akshar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav are likely to compete for the third spinner slot.

 Sharing his verdict, Paranjape took the name of Akshar and called it a "straightforward choice".

"For me, there is no debate that Akshar Patel should be India's third spinner with (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja. The form in which he has been and on wickets that will be on offer, Akshar is a straightforward choice," Jatin Paranjape told PTI.

Devang Gandhi also backed Akshar for the role of third spinner, citing that the latter hits the immaculate length.

"Look, if you have track that starts breaking right away, then Akshar is a better choice than Kuldeep. Kuldeep will release the ball from the back of his hand and hence flight more," said Gandhi.

"On tracks where the ball starts turning square, he will have a propensity to get hit. Also, when he tries bowling flatter, he tends to go a little shorter. In case of Akshar, on turners, he hits the immaculate length.

"Also being a left-hander, he will add variety in the lower middle-order," he added.

When Australia had last visited India in 2017, Kuldeep had made a memorable Test debut in Dharamsala, claiming a four-wicket haul in India's series-clinching victory. While injuries and team combination have denied him opportunities in the past, he was the Player of the Match in his last Test appearance against Bangladesh at Chattogram in December 2022.

On the other hand, Akshar Patel took the cricketing world by storm in his debut Test against England at home in 2021. He played three Tests in the four-match series and returned with an incredible tally of 27 wickets. So far, Akshar has taken 47 wickets in 8 Tests for India at a remarkable average of 14.29 with five-wicket hauls.

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 05 Feb, 2023

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