KulCha sim sim

Will Team India open door for Kuldeep-Chahal to spin magic together?

Chennai: Not long ago, the wrist spin was the buzzword in the limited-overs cricket. Jumping on the bandwagon, the Indian team management was so fascinated by the trend that world-class spinners R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were completely sidelined after the 2017 Champions Trophy to accommodate Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.

With the full backing from team management, the famed ‘KulCha’ became a hot combo as they spun a web around various oppositions.

In 34 one-dayers that Kuldeep and Chahal played together, the duo shared 118 wickets between them.

But again, the trend changed. The spin duo haven’t played together in the XI since the World Cup league match defeat against England at Edgbaston. Their journey would come full circle if both make it to the XI in the opening ODI against West Indies on Sunday. It was here at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium where they had announced their arrival by sharing five wickets between them in India’s win over Australia in 2017.

Bharat Arun, India’s bowling coach, said it comes down to finding an ideal combination. “We were looking at an ideal combination that gives absolute balance to the team. Also, there was an option where we could use Jadeja as an all-rounder. So that really helped us. There may be occasions when there are conducive conditions both can be playing together. But we will have to look at the overall balance before we decide the team,” said Arun.

Arun, however, hinted that it’s highly unlikely that Jadeja would sit out. “If you look at Jadeja, we have a ready-made all-rounder. Jadeja has been exceptional for us. He batted well, bowled well and the best fielder in international cricket now. He adds a lot of dimension to us,” he said.

The bowling said Washington Sundar would stake a claim in the ODI squad given the way he has performed in T20s. “In due course, Washi will be in contention. Whenever he got opportunities, he has done well. He is more than a capable bat. He has played a cameo whenever he had a chance. In the future, he would be somebody we will consider for the ODI scenario,” he added.

“If you can bat in ODI and T20 cricket, it will give us a different dimension. You should be exceptional in at least two skills. If they can bat, it lends a lot more balance to the team. But as it is, Kuldeep and Chahal can be matchwinners on their day. When it comes to matchwinners, you forego the other aspects. They can win you matches just by one skill alone,” Arun added.

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