Kuldeep Yadav has become the poster boy of the Indian cricket team in recent times with his excellent performances in limited overs cricket.
Cricket news: Hussey stressed on the importance of Ashwin against left-handed English batsmen
In the current tour to the United Kingdom, Kuldeep has by far picked up 21 wickets including a five-wicket haul in T20I and a six-wicket haul in ODI.
Despite these jaw-dropping feats, Australian veteran cricketer Michael Hussey said that India should not play Kuldeep in the match ahead of the experienced Ashwin.
Hussy has represented Australia in 79 Tests, 185 ODIs and 38 T20s and is currently working as a commentator in the ongoing third edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League. In an interview he spoke about the upcoming England-India series.
With the India-England Test series just days away, what are your thoughts?
I think India have a great chance as they have a good team. A lot of their players have been in England for a while now. The other advantage is that the series is happening in the latter part of the summer. Pitches during this period are generally a bit flatter and the spinners might come into play a bit more. I believe it’s been good summer in England, weather-wise. That might play to India’s hands as well. The key for India is to score big runs and if they can do that, it will put some pressure on England.
Do you feel the English pace duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad are past their prime?
You underestimate them at your own peril. They have been champion bowlers for a long time. Never ever write off champion players. I have seen it happen many times before. People have written of great players, but they have always come back.
What would your advice be for Indian batsmen to get on top of Anderson, especially when it starts to reverse?
Each player has to work it out in the middle. Coaches can’t go and bat for players. I remember during my days with the Australia team, we planned a lot to play against Muttiah Muralitharan.
To counter reverse, some like to bat out of their crease, some like to bat deeper while a few like to go across the stumps. It’s about having your own plan and executing it. I don’t think there is one piece of advice.
How do you assess Virat Kohli’s chances of scoring big against England this time?
I am sure Virat would have learnt a lot from the 2014 Test series and that experience will help him now. He is going to be very determined like always. How he starts is going to be the key. If he gets his confidence up and spends some time at the crease, it will give him momentum. Once he gets his confidence, he will be hard to stop. It’s just a shame he picked up that injury and couldn’t go early to play county. It would have helped him a lot.
How do you look at Kuldeep Yadav’s role in the team and the Indian spin attack in general?
Kuldeep is a fantastic bowler and has done well. Personally, I don’t think Kuldeep should play at the expense of R Ashwin. I think Ashwin deserves his place in the team as he has been a brilliant Test match bowler for a long period of time.
He has over 300 Test wickets plus England have many left-handers and Ashwin can play a big role. There is still plenty of time for Kuldeep as he is young. Let him keep learning along the way but if there is an injury or an opportunity, then I am sure he will do a good job for India.
Who would be that Indian pace bowler who can have an impact …
I would have said Bumrah but I didn’t realise he was injured. The same is the case with Bhuvneshwar Kumar too. But I always been a fan of Umesh Yadav and have known that his performances are a bit up and down sometimes. But I think he is getting to the stage in his career where he understands his game.
We saw him perform more consistently in the IPL and so hopefully he can translate that into Test match arena. I also think Mohammed Shami is a very good bowler and if he can stay fit and get some continuity into the game then he can have an impact as well. India are going to rely on those guys. Ishant Sharma is there as well.
They are all good bowlers but they will be missing the big two–Bhuvi and Bumrah. They both are quality bowlers in all formats of the game and it’s going to be hard to replace those two.