Saturday, July 13, 2024

Gavaskar surprised, fans label ‘madness’ as Team India drops Kuldeep Yadav in T20 World Cup opener vs Ireland

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Team India began its campaign in the T20 World Cup on Wednesday when the side faced Ireland in New York. However, Rohit Sharma threw in a surprise in the playing XI, as the in-form spinner Kuldeep Yadav didn’t find a place in the side that took the field. Kuldeep was touted among the first picks in the Indian XI following a stellar show in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League.

Kuldeep Yadav during a practice session ahead of India's ICC T20 World Cup opener against Ireland, in New York on Tuesday(Surjeet Yadav)
Kuldeep Yadav during a practice session ahead of India’s ICC T20 World Cup opener against Ireland, in New York on Tuesday(Surjeet Yadav)

Kuldeep picked 16 matches for the Delhi Capitals in 11 matches in the 2024 edition and also starred in India‘s warm-up match at the T20 World Cup against Bangladesh. However, the team management opted to field the three-man pace attack in Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Arshdeep Singh, with Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja being the two spinners in the XI.

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Former India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar was “surprised” at the call, stating that Kuldeep had an impressive IPL season. “I’m surprised. Kuldeep bowled really well in the IPL,” Gavaskar had said following the toss in New York.

While Rohit didn’t explain the decision behind keeping Kuldeep out of the XI, he stated that the side benefitted from its team selection after its warm-up match, which wasplayed at the same venue last week against Bangladesh.

“We played on a similar pitch and do know what to expect a little bit. I know it’s going to be slightly different from what we’re used to. But that’s what the sport is,” Rohit said.

Gavaskar’s sentiments were echoed by many fans who were equally surprised at Kuldeep’s snub in the Indian XI.

Here’s how fans reacted:

India look to make winning start

The Indian team will aim for a strong start in its T20 World Cup campaign; Rohit Sharma’s men will be eager to break an 11-year ICC title drought. The group stage in the current edition should be easy work for the highly-experienced Indian team, with the match against arch-rivals Pakistan likely to be the most competitive match for the Indian team before the Super 8s.

India last won an ICC tournament in 2013, when a Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side lifted the Champions Trophy.

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