Kuldeep Yadav won the Player-of-the-Match award in December for his five-for in the series’ lone Test in Bangladesh. He followed it up with match-winning performances in ODI series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand at home, and he forced his way into India’s team for the first two Tests against Australia, which begin next week in Nagpur. While Kuldeep has rediscovered his mojo, his good friend and spin twin, Yuzvendra Chahal, appears to have lost it. Chahal, who became India’s leading wicket-taker in Twenty20Is on Sunday, has struggled with his bowling rhythm, technique, and confidence for some time now, forcing the team management to sideline him frequently.
Sunil Joshi, a former India left-arm spinner who served on the Indian selection panel between 2020 and 2022, has closely monitored both Kuldeep and Chahal’s performances. Joshi deconstructs their approaches, explains what makes them effective or ineffective, and selects his World Cup squad.
Kuldeep Yadav was recently named Player of the Match at Chattogram, Bangladesh. He also had strong performances in one-day internationals against Sri Lanka and New Zealand. What makes him so powerful?
Kuldeep has worked really hard on a couple of things. I’ve been watching him closely since my tenure as coach at Uttar Pradesh, when he played a few games after being dropped from the Indian team during the 2019-20 season.
During the [2020-21] England series, I observed Kuldeep closely during the Chennai Test matches: his body was considerably more open-chested, and his [right] hand was falling away from the point of target. Your non-bowling arm should follow the batsman, and your bowling hand should be as near to the batsman’s head as feasible. If you think of a clock, your bowling arm should come from just before 12 o’clock; if it comes from 1 o’clock, the trajectory will be flatter. If your non-bowling arm is straight, your bowling hand will naturally move closer to the head. Kuldeep has made another change.
He concentrated on his arm speed, which was slightly slower. The spring in his bowling run-up is now visible. He has made the run-up smoother and more consistent, and his arm speed is good. In the follow-through, his body is moving towards the batsman, and his line of attack has improved. More revolutions are on the ball.
A great illustration of [all of this coming together] is Dasun Shanaka’s wicket [in the ODIs in Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram earlier this month] – the way he bowled him, that’s the line we’ve been discussing with Kuldeep and he understood what was necessary.
He also changes how he uses the crease. He was bowling near the centre of the crease earlier. He now bowls wider, from the centre, and close to the stumps. As a left-arm wristspinner, every time you bowl away from the crease, especially to a right-hander, it will be difficult if you don’t get the line perfect. You end up bowling middle-and-leg when you get close to the stumps. It’s an ideal angle for getting near to the stumps and taking the ball away from the left-hander. The greatest film for bowling a right-hander, in my opinion, is [to watch] the Dasun Shanaka wicket in Thiruvananthapuram, where Kuldeep got him through the gap between bat and pad.
Do you think he’s gotten smarter and more consistent?
You must give him credit. He has worked extremely hard and clearly understands what is required. He has also played in domestic matches. He appeared in one Test and three One-Day Internationals for India A against New Zealand A. He did well, getting wickets.
The greater discussion about Kuldeep’s improved consistency, as some previous players have noted, is his delivery speed.
I always think that bowling speeds between 70 and 85kph are ideal for spinners. The faster you bowl through the air, the easier it is for a batsman to line up. When the bowler slows down, adjusts his speed, or starts spinning, the batsman must use his intellect to determine the pitch of the ball, as well as his technique and timing.
Kuldeep has worked hard on his speed, which I believe is presently between 75kph and late 80s. He doesn’t bowl any faster than that. The more revolutions you put on the ball, the more it will skid through after pitching.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri says Kuldeep’s efforts on hip flexion and lower-body strength has enabled him to transmit such revs. Do you concur?
That will only happen when he has focused on his delivery stride. That is why it is much easier to transfer your body weight towards the target when everything is side-on – when everything is side-on, you immediately transfer your body weight [properly] and your hip drive will improve significantly.
Rhythm is divided into three sections: run-up, delivery stride, and follow-through. If one of these is missed, the bowler will be in a difficult situation. When you run too fast, everything happens too fast, including the movement, and the trajectory is flatter. Everything will be slow if you go too slowly – there will be fewer revolutions on the ball and the batsman will have enough time to go back or forward. If you do not complete your follow-through, you will bowl short. Because Kuldeep is short, he cannot have a longer stride as a spinner because you collapse and are unable to transmit body weight towards the batsman and extract the proper pace from your hip drive. A spinner’s delivery stride should be shoulder width – this is an optimal length.
This is what we can see in Kuldeep now: the transfer of body weight, the hip drive, as Ravi said, and of course the arm speed, the front arm, and revolutions on the ball. Plus, he likes the small changes he has made to his bowling arsenal, which are helping him win.
What is the one thing you want him to keep getting better at?
He can probably sometimes bowl around the stumps to left-handed batters, who can’t see that area. If Kuldeep comes around the wickets, the batsman might think he’s going to take the ball away, but he doesn’t. If you saw how he got Henry Nicholls out yesterday [in the ODI in Hyderabad against New Zealand], that was a classic delivery. Daryl Mitchell was also lbw. And Dasun Shanaka’s forward defence was fully stretched, through the gate, and he was bowled.
He is doing this by always going the same length. He is probably in a spot right now where he can take wickets at any time and put pressure on the team. In white-ball cricket, you have to put pressure on the batsman and try to get inside his head. For example, Mitchell Santner bowled Virat Kohli in Hyderabad, but Kohli could have played forward.
Because R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel are all very good at Test cricket, Kuldeep is fourth in line. But he’s shown that he can make a difference every time he’s called up. He will play in the first two Tests at home in February against Australia. Think he will be important in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy?
I believe so. One, because he has been good at taking wickets lately. As a former cricket player, I pay more attention to how he gets wickets: a spinner getting the batter out through the gate bowled, caught at slip, stumped getting to the pitch of the ball, miscuing the ball, and getting caught at mid-off or mid-on. These are the places where a spinner would love to get a dismissal.
When you look at the Australian Test team and the places where they play, where do you think Kuldeep will have an advantage?
If Ashwin is our first choice and Jadeja isn’t available, then Kuldeep and Axar should be our next choices. If they are playing three spinners and Jaddu is available, Kuldeep should play. Don’t worry about the venues or how well our spinners will do there. Take a look at how Kuldeep has taken wickets. In the recent series he has played, whether it was red ball or white ball, most of his dismissals happened within the 30-yard circle. That’s great for a bowler because it shows that your line and length have been very consistent. Kuldeep will be very important for India to beat Australia.
Let’s talk about Yuzvendra Chahal. Is he getting easier to guess?
Any bowler will go through that phase at some point. Chahal is likely in that stage. If Chahal can’t get any playing time in the middle, he should probably ask the team management to let him go play domestic cricket. He needs to play a lot of games to get back into shape. That should be the best way for Chahal to get ready.
Is there something he can work on with his technique?
He should really work on finishing his follow-through, because sometimes he just pushes the ball without giving it any spin. When you slow your arm, the ball automatically spins less, making it much easier for a batsman to catch. Any spinner will become predictable because the batsman will know, “Okay, he’s only doing this [releasing the ball without spin] or he’ll probably go outside the off stump, so if I leave that ball, he’ll come back into the stumps [line],” which is the batsman’s strength.
Chahal needs to work on his follow-through, hitting the right length, which is the line between the fourth and fifth stumps, speeding up his arm, and spinning the ball. Spinning the ball is the most important thing. I have seen him get hit a lot in the last few series because he pushed the ball. The seam turns were flatter, and there was no overspin. Any fingerspinner requires the wrist to move over the top of the seam. If the wrist moves to the side, the spinner will undercut the ball.
Chahal is a spin bowler who attacks. He lost his magic in some way…
He was a spinner who tried to attack. Was.
Everyone gets a little bit of a break. Okay, theek hai, I’ve done well, let me take it easy for a while. As soon as you realise that, the pressure starts to build up on you.
When Chahal bowls the fourth-stump line, batters start to hit him.
Every ball should be on the line between the fourth and fifth stumps. He throws most of his googlies from the middle stump. From the middle stump, you can’t bowl a googly. Where did Anil Kumble hit his sixes and fours? Fifth post. That’s where you pull a batsman to get him or her through the bat-pad gap. You’ve seen how many times a legspinner has gotten Virat Kohli out in the last few IPLs. Did he get out from a middle-stump line to a googly? No. Fifth stumbling block.
I use the three-T method: technique, tactics, and personality. You know how to play, and you play for your country. But you also need to pay attention to how they act and what they do. That’s how you get rid of a batsman.
Does Chahal need to improve how fast he bowls?
He gets the ball inside more than he does with speed. That’s not allowed. As a real spinner, Kuldeep has been rewarded for getting on the seam.
Would you choose Kuldeep and Chahal to be on your team for the World Cup, which will be held in India later this year?
We’re talking about seven to eight months away. Kuldeep is in a state of complete relaxation. He should be more consistent. He must consider the tactical aspect. He must decide how he will approach each team and venue. The World Cup is being held in India, but each venue has a unique dimension in terms of pitch, soil, and climate. He needs to prepare accordingly.
Will you put Kuldeep in your team of 11 for the World Cup?
Without a doubt.
KL Rahul’s Fitness Update: Asia Cup Anticipation
Indian cricket player KL Rahul doing exercise
Get the latest KL Rahul Fitness Update as the Asia Cup draws near. With the tournament on the horizon, all eyes are on KL Rahul and his efforts to enhance his physical condition. This anticipation adds an extra layer of excitement to the upcoming Asia Cup, as fans eagerly await his progress and contributions on the field.
Unveiling the Remarkable Strides
“KL’s journey within our conditioning camp has yielded remarkable strides,” Dravid affirmed during an engaging conversation in Alur on a Tuesday. He further elaborated on Rahul’s intensive training regimen, highlighting the significant advancements achieved in alignment with the team’s envisioned trajectory. However, it’s important to underscore that Rahul’s participation will be limited to the earlier part of the tour, excluding the segment taking place in Kandy.
Amid this cricketing expedition, the responsibility of overseeing Rahul’s well-being in the upcoming days rests firmly on the shoulders of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). A comprehensive reassessment of his physical state is scheduled for September 4—a critical juncture that will shape the course of action moving forward. Encouragingly, Rahul’s journey so far is indicative of a promising future, marked by substantial progress and commendable breakthroughs.
Navigating Injury Setbacks and Selection Strategy
The meticulous composition of the Asia Cup team on August 21 took into careful consideration KL Rahul’s state of health. Ajit Agarkar, the discerning chairman of selectors, disclosed that Rahul had encountered a “minor niggle” after a complete recovery from a thigh injury sustained during the IPL 2023 season. While the medical team at the NCA expressed contentment with Rahul’s batting workload, concerns surfaced regarding his wicketkeeping prowess, particularly after he expressed fatigue following practice games.
Mastering the Art of Batting: Rahul’s Regimen
Intriguingly, Rahul’s batting prowess has showcased resilience during his practice sessions at the Alur nets. On the final day of India’s intensive six-day training camp, Rahul dedicated nearly 35 minutes to the crease, confronting an array of bowlers encompassing both pace and spin. While he refrained from partaking in bowling drills, his immersive practice was apparent.
Rahul’s training routine unveiled a multifaceted approach, with a special emphasis on handling spin bowling. Positioned as the No. 5 batsman, he skillfully employed footwork to counter leg spin, demonstrating meticulous shot selection. Moreover, his adaptability shone through as he engaged in full-blooded sweeps against the spin duo of R Sai Kishore and Manav Suthar, both known for their left-arm spin expertise.
Starting to feel like me again 🏃♂️🏟️ pic.twitter.com/8cECI7oRDZ— K L Rahul (@klrahul) July 11, 2023
Strategizing for Excellence
As Rahul’s training regimen progressed, he navigated to the second net—a space dedicated to facing the new ball delivered by the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna. His unwavering attention was directed towards aligning his stance with the bounce, honing his ability to play straight, and judiciously utilizing pace to manipulate the trajectory of the ball. A post-session interaction with Coach Dravid and Virat Kohli underscored Rahul’s commitment to refining his skills.
Balancing Act: Skill Development and Preservation
Despite his fervent dedication, Rahul’s training routine has been carefully curated to prevent undue physical strain. The team management, vigilant about his well-being, has ensured that his wicketkeeping drills strike the right balance between intensity and preservation. His sessions, particularly those focused on lateral movement and spin, are calibrated to foster growth without compromising his physical resilience.
Rahul’s proactive participation extended to meaningful interactions with fellow cricketer Rishabh Pant. The duo shared insights and engaged in rehab and fitness drills alongside the team, underscoring the collaborative spirit within the Indian cricket fraternity.
A Glimpse of Squad Dynamics
As the cricketing spectacle approaches, India’s Asia Cup contingent boasts the presence of wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan. Additionally, Sanju Samson has been designated as the team’s travelling substitute, poised to step in when needed.
In Conclusion: The Path Ahead
In conclusion, KL Rahul fitness update and contribute significantly to the upcoming stages of the Asia Cup resonates as a central narrative. His ongoing progress, meticulously overseen by the NCA physiotherapy team, holds the promise of an impactful return to the field. The cricketing community eagerly anticipates his presence in the Super 4s phase, envisioning his role as a cornerstone in India’s pursuit of glory.
Ashwin’s Insight : Cricket’s Middle-Order Revolution
Ashwin doesn’t think India has a problem at No.4 or No.5 now that Dhoni and Yuvraj have left the team. He said that there is no question about India’s opening order.
India’s middle-order in ODIs is always a topic of discussion. When they lost in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, a big reason was that they didn’t have a good No. 4. Since Yuvraj Singh’s last ODI on June 30, 2017, India has tried more than 10 players in that position, but captain Rohit Sharma says they still haven’t found the right fit. The No. 5 spot is just the same. Even though the way teams think about batting in ODIs is changing quickly, flexible batting line-ups are now the rule. However, not having a bankable middle order has hurt many times. In the last couple of years, however, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul seem to have helped India find the right mix.
Ravichandran Ashwin says that if both Iyer and Rahul are ready to play, there should be no question about India’s No. 4 and No. 5 in the Asia Cup and World Cup. He is correct. Rahul and Iyer have the best numbers of any middle-order openers India has tried since the 2019 World Cup.
Ashwin even said that Rahul, who has scored 742 runs at a remarkable average of 53 and a striking strike rate of 99.33 since taking on the new role of keeping wickets and batting at No.5, has filled the middle-order spot with “expertise” since MS Dhoni and Yuvraj retired.
“India had been looking for a candidate for Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni since they left the team. Rahul has done a good job in that role. He will always bat at No. 5 and keep wickets for us,” Ashwin wrote on his YouTube account.
Ashwin, who didn’t make it to the Asia Cup, praised Rahul for taking over as keeper-batsman after Rishabh Pant got hurt.
“Before Pant got hurt, Rahul was next in line. Now that Pant is out, Ishan Kishan is the second goal, and he has jumped at the chance. Rahul has a minor injury, but he should be fine for the first game. If he isn’t, we have a travelling team of 18 people in Sanju Samson,” Ashwin said.
“India’s No.4 should not be up for debate”: Ashwin
Shreyas Iyer is similar. Iyer got 805 runs before he hurt his back again and again. His average was 47.35, and his strike rate was 94.37. The Mumbai right-hander’s ability to hit big shots against all types of spinners makes him an ideal No.4 in subcontinent conditions. He also has a double game. Iyer has shown that he can handle the pressure if a couple of wickets fall early and then use it to his advantage. If he comes in to bat after a good start, he can beat the spinners right away.
“Shreyas Iyer is just as important to this team as KL Rahul. He is a steady No.4 for India and one of their best players against spin. Whenever he has played at 4, he has been a key part of their success. “If he is fully fit to play, there shouldn’t be any debate about the No. 4 spot,” Ashwin said on his YouTube account when talking about India’s Asia Cup team.
Ajit Agarkar, the head of selectors for the BCCI, put to rest any doubts about Iyer’s health. He also said that Rahul has a new injury and might not play in India’s Asia Cup opener against Pakistan. Rahul and Iyer’s good health will be the most important thing for India in the Asia Cup and World Cup, not where they play in the XI. Ashwin has said that if Rahul and Iyer are both healthy, they will play at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively.
Asia Cup 2023:India’s Squad,Contenders & Captaincy
India’s 2023 Asia Cup Squad
September marks the start of the next Asia Cup competition. The Asian Cricket Council oversees this prestigious competition. There had been talk of Pakistan hosting the competition, but now it appears that plans have changed. When the ACC announces the final host and schedule, that will be it. There will be 13 games played in this major competition, according to the data.
Many cricket followers can’t wait for this massive ACC-run competition. Cricket fans in India are eager to learn about their team’s Asia Cup 2023 roster. The team for the forthcoming competition has not been announced as of yet.
Nonetheless, the following players will likely be included in the Indian squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023: KL Rahul, Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal, Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Arshdeep Singh, Ruturaj Gaikwad, etc.
List of 2023 Asia Cup Participants
Six teams will compete in the 2023 Asia Cup, according to reports. There will be one-day matches in this competition. Sri Lanka won this prestigious competition in 2022 and is the current holder of the title.
The roster of participating players in the Asia Cup will be made public shortly.
1. Indian Squad: KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin, Suryakumar Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Kuldeep Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, etc. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
2. Pakistan Squad: Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir, Babar Azam, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah, Naseem Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed, etc. are all members of the Pakistan Squad. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
3.Bangladesh Squad: Mohammad Saifuddin, Ebadot Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Parvez Hossain Emon, Anamul Haque, Mahedi Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Naim, Mushfiqur Rahim, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Sabbir Rahman, Afif Hossain, etc. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
4.Afghanistan Squad : Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Nabi, Fareed Ahmad, Usman Ghani, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Samiullah Shinwari, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ibrahim, Zadran, Afsar Zazai. Soon, we shall get more specifics about the actual team.
5.Sri Lanka Squad : Asitha Fernando, Nuwanidu Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ashen Bandara, Praveen Jayawickrama, Chamika Karunaratne, Pramod Madushan, Dilshan, Madushanka, Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Matheesha Pathirana, Dasun Shanaka, Mahesh Theekshana, Nuwan Thushara, Jeffrey Vandersay, etc. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
6.Nepal Squad : Aarif Sheikh and Aasif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee and Sompal Kami and Lalit Rajbanshi and Sandeep Lamichhane and Karna KC and Gulsan Jha and Rohit Paudel and Bhim Sharki and so on. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
Schedule for the 2023 Asia Cup
The ACC will soon announce the dates of the upcoming matches. In September, you may watch this fascinating and important competition. Hong Kong qualified for the Asia Cup in the previous tournament. Nepal, however, beat out the United Arab Emirates in the ACC Men’s Premier Cup to earn entry to this year’s tournament.
To see how well this young team does in such a major competition would be thrilling. This tournament features a lot of big names and big players. The 2019 Asia Cup will include 13 total games between the six participating teams (split into two groups). They’ll be competing for the title of Asia Cup 2023 champion.
2023 India Asia Cup Team Captain
There has been no announcement made regarding who will lead the Indian team at the 2023 Asia Cup. However, Rohit Sharma is expected to lead the Indian team at the upcoming Asia Cup in 2023. In the ongoing WCC Finals, India is being captained by Rohit Sharma.
He is undoubtedly a top-tier cricket player. As a result, many people expect Rohit Sharma to lead the Indian team at the 2023 Asia Cup. When India last competed in the ACC event, Rohit led the team as captain.