Former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan has said he is disappointed and pained to see the decline in form of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, India premier wrist-spinners in white-ball cricket. Sivaramakrishnan said both the Indian wrist-spinners are not adding new elements to their games, thereby becoming predictable in modern-day crcket.
Kuldeep Yadav has played only 2 ODis and a Test in the last 6 months. The left-arm wrist-spinner is not part of the 20-member India squad which will travel to England for the World Test Championship final and a 5-Test series against England.
Kuldeep warmed the benches during India’s tour of Australia but managed to get a game against England in the 4-Test series. However, the Kolkata Knight Riders spinner failed to make a lasting impact in the opportunity he got. Later in Indian Premier League 2021, Kuldeep did not get a single game despite KKR playing 5 of their games in Chennai, known for its spin-friendly wickets.
On the other hand, Chahal lost his place in the T20I side to Rahul Chahar during the England series. The leg-spinner was far from impressive for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2021, picking just 4 wickets in 7 matches.
“Nothing really pained me more than witnessing the fall of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal,” Sivaramakrishnan wrote in a column for cricket.com.
“The duo was very successful in the early part of their career. Batsmen were not aware of what they were bowling but now they have been found out. There are computer analysts with every team to help batsmen study bowlers. They’re studying the spinners mainly because a lot of foreign players struggle against the spinners.
“To be successful consistently like an Anil Kumble or a Muttiah Muralitharan or a Shane Warne, you have to keep developing different deliveries (variations) as you progress every year in your career.
“I found Kuldeep has become inconsistent with this line and length and Chahal is not adding more variations to his bowling and has become predictable,” he added.
‘Rahul Chahar has the courage to go for wickets’
Meanwhile, Sivaramakrishnan said he is impressed with Rahul Chahar’s performances, highlighting the Mumbai Indians leg-spinner’s willingness to take more risks. The former India cricketer backed Chahar to be part of India’s plans for the T20 World Cup.
Rahul Chahar picked up 11 wickets from 7 matches in IPL 2021 shortly after he returned to the India playing XI during the England series in Ahmedabad.
“On the other hand, Rahul Chahar was more impressive in his role because people were not able to analyse him that much. Rahul Chahar was definitely very gutsy, large-hearted — all the ingredients that a leg spinner needs and more importantly, not afraid of getting hit. His body language looked good,” Sivaramakrishnan said.
“When I talk about mindset, it’s not about keeping the batsmen tight. It’s about taking wickets. And sitting in the commentary box, I get the feeling the body language of Rahul Chahar is to take wickets, whereas Chahal is quite happy containing.
“What happens with containing is if you don’t take wickets in the middle overs and they have wickets in hand in the final overs, the other bowlers will suffer.
“India need somebody with the skill, the mindset, the body language, the heart, and the courage to go for wickets in the middle overs. This is where I think Rahul Chahar impressed me the most.
“I will be happy to be proven wrong if Kuldeep and Chahal do well – they are two outstanding cricketers and have tremendous potential. It is only a matter of application and development in the right way,” he added.