The on-going ODI series between India and South Africa have once again sprung up the fortunes of wristspinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The duo have impressed with their wickettaking form in the three ODIs so far and have grown as match winners for their side. While Chahal has taken 11 wickets in the series so far, his counterpart has taken 10 as India have taken a 3-0 lead in the 6-match ODI series.
Speaking on their selection over Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, BCCI Chief selector MSK Prasad said that the decision was earlier questioned by the people but the two proved themselves. “When they (Chahal and Yadav) were picked, it led to criticisms but with all due respect to everyone, we wanted to bring in variety in the spin bowling department. We wanted to increase the pool of spinners, as in the base, like we have done with the batting and seam bowling department. It is a process and they are doing well with every game against all teams. I am glad that it paid off and I am looking forward to seeing them perform consistently against the best sides,” Prasad said in an interview to the magazine Sportstar.
On being questioned whether Ashwin and Jadeja will get a chance to return to limited-overs format, the 42-year old said that it will be decided in the future. “There is always a chance. As I said, we wanted to have a base of spinners and in the process, we gave opportunities to Kuldeep and Chahal, which they grabbed. Right now, it makes sense to continue with them for sometime and then analyse the future,” he said.
The former wicketkeeper further said that in spite of losing the Test series by 2-1, India showed their class in the format with the bowlers taking 60 wickets. “We took 60 wickets in three Tests, which shows the strength of our bowling. The way the boys came strong in the third Test proves their hard work. The nerves of steel on those wickets will go down as one of the best victories in the Indian cricket history, it is going to set the tone for the future generation,” he said.
Prasad also went on to praise India’s U-19 World Cup winning squad. “Being undefeated throughout is a huge thing. They started their campaign against Australia and maintained the tempo. I also want to congratulate Venkatesh Prasad (Chairman, Junior Selection Committee). It is not easy to spot talents and put them together to win a World Cup. The four World Cup wins also shows the strength of our junior cricket and the investment BCCI does; right from U-16 to U-19,” he said.
India will play the fourth ODI against South Africa at Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday. If India manage to win the match, then they will register their first series win in the country.