A return to Test cricket after 22 months and making the most of the opportunity by returning his career-best bowling figures – that’s how Kuldeep performed in the Chattogram Test as India defeated Bangladesh by 188 runs to go 1-0 up in the series. He picked up a fifer in the first innings and picked up 3 more in the second, ending with an 8-wicket match-haul. A Player of the Match award made his comeback sweeter as he has certainly strengthened his case for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar trophy at home.
Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has opined that India will likely have three spinners in every game and Kuldeep will be one of them. Speaking with Cricbuzz after India’s victory, Karthik said the toss-up between Axar and Kuldeep but if the team management wants to have a wrist spinner in the playing XI, it will definitely be Kuldeep.
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“I do think he has definitely made his case stronger and if they are going with three spinners then Kuldeep will definitely be the third one. We know that Ashwin is one, Jadeja, if he is fit, will be the other. There’ll be a toss-up between Axar and Kuldeep and they’ll decide if they want a finger spinner or a wrist spinner. If they do opt for a wrist spinner, there is no doubt Kuldeep is the one. It’s the combination of the XI that the Indian team will be choosing. But for the moment, Kuldeep is the front-runner because of his ability to use the turn in both ways which could trouble Aussie batters,” Karthik told Cricbuzz.
“The last time he played against Australia in Dharamshala, he got four wickets. He got a fifer in Sydney. We know his credentials so there is a great chance that in the Australia series he could be a part of the XI. We’ll play 2 medium pacers and three spinners, I reckon, in most of the grounds and that will give Kuldeep a good shot at the XI,” he added.
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Meanwhile, India have boosted their chances of appearing at next year’s ICC World Test Championship final with a comprehensive victory over a gritty Bangladesh. Despite a strong rear-guard action from Bangladesh veteran Shakib Al Hasan (84), the hosts’ last four wickets all fell prior to lunch on the final day as India drew first blood in the two-match Test series.
India receive a valuable 12 points courtesy of the triumph and now hold a 55.77 win-percentage as they close in a top-two finish at the end of the current World Test Championship period.
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