Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has said that Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav is likely to finish the ICC World Cup 2023 as the leading wicket-taker. The left-arm wrist spinner has picked up five wickets in three matches which came at an average of 23.40 in the marquee event so far. However, Kuldeep registered two for 35 in India’s convincing seven-wicket victory against arch-rivals Pakistan on Saturday (October 14).
Writing in his column for The Indian Express, Rashid Latif wrote: “Against Kuldeep, we looked timid, we were trying to just play out his ten overs. Not a single Pakistan batsman was able to pick Kuldeep (Yadav), and I think if he is not rested in a few matches, Kuldeep will end up being the leading wicket-taker of the tournament.”
However, veteran Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, whose selection in this World Cup squad is nothing but surprising, has only played in India’s opening game against Australia in Chennai. Fast bowler Shardul Thakur replaced him in the playing XI in the last two matches. Speaking on how Ashwin’s presence in the Indian bowling attack could help, Rashid Latif mentioned:
“I was surprised that India didn’t pick Ashwin. I feel he should play all the matches for India. If Ashwin had played I don’t think we could have even got 190 on the board. Pakistan’s current ODI template is old. They want to follow the old ODI template of saving wickets till 40 overs and then target the last ten. The game has changed; we are still stuck in the past. This team is not playing modern-day cricket. We don’t have specialists; there is no X factor in the playing XI.”
However, Pakistan will next play against Australia on Friday, October 20, in Bengaluru, while India will take on Bangladesh a day before (October 19) in Pune as well.