Former India player Sanjay Manjrekar believes that India should go back to Kuldeep Yadav to solve their problems in the middle overs struggle. Manjrekar stated that Ashwin didn’t deserve to make a comeback on the limited-overs side and Chahal also lost his old mojo.
On Friday, South Africa chased down the target of 288 against India to take an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the 3-match series. In both matches, the Indian bowling attack failed to make any impact, more so in the middle overs as Ashwin returned with figures of 1/52 and 0/68 in two matches. While Chahal also could pick just one wicket in 2 matches.
Kuldeep Yadav picked 17 wickets in the last South Africa tour in 2018
While reviewing the match in ESPNcricinfo, Manjrekar said that India needs a wicket-taking spinner in the middle overs who can buy wickets otherwise there is no way to contain these modern batters. Manjrekar also criticized the selectors’ idea to bring Ashwin back into the squad. Ashwin made an ODI comeback in this series after more than 4 years.
“See Ashwin, I have been maintaining right from the start of the series that he has sneaked back into India’s white-ball plans for no reason. It is not that he has made a strong claim for a comeback, but somehow the thinking has changed and he has come back into the plans. Hopefully now, India will realize that he is not an impact spinner that India needs,” Sanjay Manjrekar spoke to ESPNcricinfo.
Interestingly in the last tour of South Africa 2018, it was a combo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal who ran through the South Africa side. Kuldeep was the highest wicket-taker. with 17 scalps while Chahal picked 16 in the 6-match series. Overall Kuldeep picked 107 wickets in his 65-match ODI career.
“India need to go back to those times where they used to get wickets in the middle overs. So this spin attack that India has is not their best and Ashwin has a long-standing track record of that but Chahal who has been a successful Indian white-ball spinner but you see that his powers may be waning. This spin attack is not the ideal one for India on a long-term basis. It is time for India to go back to Kuldeep Yadav and he has the record of running through sides. Kuldeep will come back into reckoning,” Manjrekar added.
The third and last ODI of the series will be played on January 23 at Cape Town.