The three-match ODI series against the West Indies at home for India will see the return of India’s premium chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav. The left-arm wrist-spinner has been called back after a gap of six months. Kuldeep has been brought back to the side after India’s poor show in the bowling department in South Africa, where India lost 0-3.

Kuldeep Yadav’s chance for redemption

Redemption series for Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep’s stats in ODI

In the recently concluded series against South Africa, the spinners couldn’t make an impact in the game, especially in the middle overs (11-40). R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Jayant Yadav could only manage to pick three wickets in 59 overs at 5.84 runs per over.

Kuldeep hasn’t been at his best in the past two years and has been missing in action from cricket, and he also hasn’t been the first choice spinner for his IPL franchise, KKR, in this period. His numbers have declined year by year as he has gone from an average of 24.77 to an average of 127.50.

However, Kuldeep is an X-factor player who can hoax the batters with his skills. He has been a success for India, especially in the middle stages of the innings. Kuldeep has picked up 107 wickets at an average of 28.34 and a strike rate of 32.5. The team needs a bowler who can take wickets and stop the flow of runs in the middle of the innings, and Kuldeep has done that in the past.

The return of the KULCHA duo 

Redemption series for Kuldeep Yadav
The dynamic duo of KulCha in ODI

The tables have turned as India has gone back to the strategy of picking both Chahal and Kuldeep together. They were very effective during the 2017-2019 phase, as batters couldn’t pick these wrist spinners off their hand.

The duo of Kuldeep and Chahal has been phenomenal for the Indian cricket team. Both the bowlers have bowled well in partnership as they have supported each other pretty well. Together they have picked up 125 wickets at an average of 26.05. They have been better together, as their stats are better when they have played together rather than playing individually.

After a long absence, both Kuldeep and Chahal have been selected for the ODI squad, which will boost their confidence. Bowling with Chahal has helped Kuldeep bowl better, which is good for him and the team.

Points of concern for Kuldeep:

Kuldeep’s competition for fitting in the playing XI

The squad includes four spin options, and most likely, two will play against the Windies. The other three spinners apart from Kuldeep are Chahal, Washington Sundar, and Ravi Bishnoi, who are brilliant bowlers themselves.

If given a chance in the first ODI, Kuldeep has to give his best, as Chahal has been India’s prime spinner for a long time with 99 wickets in 59 matches. Washington is returning after an injury, and the Tamil Nadu spinner offers an option with the bat, which is useful for the team. The third option is the young leggy, who has been a sensation in IPL and will be looking forward to doing well for his country on his debut.

Kuldeep’s effectiveness without Dhoni

From behind the stumps, Dhoni has been the guiding light for Kuldeep since making his debut. Dhoni’s presence has inspired Kuldeep to perform brilliantly at various levels of the game. The combination of Dhoni and Kuldeep has yielded 16 wickets, including 12 stumpings and four caught behind.

However, since Dhoni’s retirement, Kuldeep has been a pale shadow of himself, and it reflects in his performances. Without Dhoni, Kuldeep has looked predictable and has gone for a few runs without picking wickets. It is a huge matter of concern for the young chinaman, and he has to look for the solution going forward into this series against the Windies.