Cricket: Alec Stewart has his say on picking Kuldeep Yadav for tests

Alec Stewart, Surrey coach

(Image Courtesy: Kia Oval)

Former England wicket keeper Alec Stewart believes that Kuldeep Yadav, who was India’s most successful bowler in the limited overs vs England will find it difficult in the upcoming test series.

Stewart, whose career spanned over 14 years believes that even though Yadav is recognized as the mystery spinner, it will the ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who turn out to be the reliable option.

“I am a massive fan of Ashwin and he is an impressive performer. Jadeja has had some good success against England as well. But if someone has got mystery, you might want to play him,” Stewart told PTI in an interview.

“Virat, as a captain, is very positive and will back an attacking bowler. He will possibly believe that Kuldeep has more to offer than Ashwin or Jadeja, and then that’s the route Virat will take. And then the wrist spinner has to perform, and replicate with the red ball what he has done with the white ball. We won’t know until he is given a go,” said Stewart.

Stewart then went on to say how Joe Root had mastered his bowling and how Kuldeep won’t get the luxuries that he got in the limited overs format.

“All of a sudden, he won’t have four men at the boundary. He will have four men around the bat, and the batsmen don’t have to try and score with a positive intent. Can he bowl enough good balls and ask questions of the batsmen as he had done in white-ball cricket?”

“In ODIs and T20Is, you can get away with bad balls with batsmen getting caught off full tosses (Eoin Morgan) or sweep slogging caught at deep midwicket (Jason Roy).

“Would Kuldeep have those fields in a Test? Would batsmen play those types of shots? No, instead, it will be a game of cat and mouse and it remains to be seen if Kuldeep can make those adjustments for Test cricket in England,” Stewart said.

Stewart then said that the Batsmen will need to tackle Anderson and Broad and also added that the Indian pace attack will pose a threat under Kohli’s captaincy.

“India’s pace attack is a massive threat as well. I think they are two evenly matched teams. In the past, India haven’t always travelled well and the last time (2014), I wasn’t even sure they wanted to be here.”

“But under Virat’s captaincy, you can see the team replicating his characteristics and personality. They are not only a team of fighters, but of quality as well. They have covered all bases nicely and I think it will be closely fought Test series,” he added.

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Cricket: Graeme Swann predicts Kuldeep to be picked ahead of Ashwin.