Former India player turned commentator Ajay Jadeja feels that Kuldeep Yadav is India’s best spinner on surfaces that don’t give too much turn. Kuldeep scalped eight wickets across Bangladesh’s two innings in the first Test in Chattogram. He registered figures of 5/40 in the first innings as the hosts were bundled out for 150 and followed it with a spell of 3/73 in the second innings as well to help India win by 188 runs.
During a discussion on Sony Sports, Ajay Jadeja said: “If we see the hierarchy of the top three spinners, Kuldeep Yadav is No. 1 in the skill he has. It is up to you, you are the jeweler, who you want to pick. If you stick with the finger spinners, he will go to the third spot, but he is No. 1 where there is no help, there is no doubt about that. Yes, where there is help from the pitch, I will also probably use some bowlers ahead of him. But when the time comes, when others don’t have anything, there is no turn or bounce, then he will come into play because his art is that he beats you in the air.”
Kuldeep Yadav has claimed 34 wickets at a stunning average of 21.55 in the eight Tests he has played as well. His average in away Tests (19.55) is better than his average in home conditions (23.81) as well. However, Jadeja added that the hosts’ failure to read Kuldeep from his hand works worked for him.
“The conditions don’t matter that much when you beat the batters in the air. Secondly, which way the ball will turn, you can still figure out for the other spinners, you can’t see that with him. So Kuldeep Yadav is way ahead in that. But it is for him to perform. Whenever he has done that, he has been called back. I always criticize our selections but this was the first selection we have seen in the last two years, we had only seen rejections till now, and that gave a good result,” Ajay Jadeja concluded.