Harbhajan Singh has explained why he would prefer R Ashwin in India’s playing XI over Kuldeep Yadav during the World Cup. Kuldeep had an exceptional year in ODIs in 2023. He holds the prestigious title of being India’s leading wicket-taker in men’s ODIs for 2023, with a remarkable tally of 33 wickets.
He was also adjudged as player of the tournament after India’s Asia Cup campaign. Ashwin, on the other hand, made his return to the ODI setup during the series against Australia and made it to the World Cup squad in place of the injured Axar Patel.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Harbhajan was asked to pick his ideal bowling lineup for India during the tournament. He went on to pick Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Mohammed Shami. When it came to the spinners, however, he decided to pick Ashwin over Kuldeep in the playing XI for the World Cup.
“If you want a proven bowler, I would go with R Ashwin alongside Ravindra Jadeja,” said Harbhajan Singh . When asked again, the former cricketer said that he would pick Ashwin since he can bat as well. “Yes, because Ashwin can bat as well.”
“That’s where you have to back your guy who has done it. If he doesn’t, then you can have a guy who can come in and perform like Kuldeep,” said Harbhajan Singh.
Harbhajan’s preference for Ashwin over Kuldeep is based on the former’s experience and proven ability in ODI cricket. Ashwin has a better batting record than Kuldeep, which is also a factor in Harbhajan’s decision. It remains to be seen which spinner will be picked in India’s playing XI for the World Cup. However, Harbhajan’s comments have sparked a debate among cricket fans and experts alike.