Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will face a litmus test in England, says Anil Kumble

Wrist-spinners are the best defensive bowler, says Anil Kumble.

Anil Kumble | Getty Images

Former Indian coach and leg-spin great Anil Kumble has expressed his views on the bowling pair Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal who are yet to taste the English conditions, saying the upcoming England series will be a litmus test for the spinners.  

However, Kumble admitted that the wrist-spin duo has done a brilliant job for India so far, but says “it'll be important to see how they perform in English conditions”.

Both Yadav and Chahal have been named in India’s squad for England tour in July-August, where they are scheduled to play three T20 Internationals, 3 One Day Internationals, while five Tests, for which BCCI have yet to announce squad.

Admitting pinners have been playing a vital role in teams success in white-ball cricket in the recent times, Kumble believes that "getting used to the cooler weather and slowish wickets" will hold the key for the spinner in England.

As per reports in sportstarlive.com, Kumble said on the sidelines of the Star Sports Select Dugout, “The wickets will be slightly slower early on; it depends on the weather. The first half — when you go in early July — can get cold. You won't get much bounce hence you have to be a lot fuller, but these are things they will pick up as soon as they start practicing there.”

It is known that the leg-spinners have become the first choice of the captains in the modern era, and maybe it’s the reason of the emergence of T20 cricket. While Kumble believed, “I think in the shorter format, spinners have always played a very important role. When T20 first came in, everyone thought there's no place for a spinner because of the pace at which things happen. We've seen that spinners, especially wrist spinners, have been very effective, prompting teams to consider them in the playing XI, not just as a defensive bowler but as a wicket-taking option.”

Commenting on the current show of Kuldeep (13 wickets and Chahal (11 wickets) in the ongoing IPL 2018, Kumble said, “You can't always pick up wickets and the opposition has also played them very smartly, especially Chahal because players understand that he's the wicket-taking bowler in the middle overs.  Chahal got wickets in the first six games; his role has changed now because there are two spinners now, so the batters are also guarded against him. Kuldeep is someone who can turn things around, so expect them to come in their element.”

Meanwhile, the Indian great believes that it is all up to the captain how he can use his spinners and get the best out of them.

Kumble signed off by saying, “If you are playing an attacking role, it's important that you are used in that fashion. Both Kuldeep and Chahal have been aggressive bowlers, looking to pick up wickets, irrespective of how many runs they go for. You also need to set the fields and the skipper needs to back them. They've done a good job so far, but it'll be important to see how they perform in English conditions.”



By Rashmi Nanda - 17 May, 2018

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