T20 WC: Kuldeep will excel on WI pitches, feels Fleming

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 18, 2024 IST

Kuldeep Yadav

New Delhi, June 18: India have reached the Super Eight stages of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024. But their key spinner Kuldeep Yadav is yet to play in the tournament. 

Perhaps, he was held back realising that pitches in the USA, where India played all their group matches.

But the Super Eight games will be played in West Indies, where Kuldeep is likely to excel. Will India play him is yet to be clear. 

But former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming has backed Kuldeep to be a "wicket-taking flair" on the spinning tracks in the West Indies. 

India have so far backed all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel as the spin duo in the group-stage matches. Axar picked three wickets while Jadeja remained wicketless in New York leg before the match against Canada washed out in Florida.

"Yeah, I think so but they've still got that opportunity now to do both which is good and horses for courses, you can't be so set in one way of playing that you miss the opportunities to take advantage of conditions as you say but yeah, I would think maybe Kuldeep would come in to provide that extra bit of wicket-taking flair if the wickets do provide the turn as they get a little bit more used and you get closer to the end of the tournament," Fleming told exclusively to 'ESPNCricinfo Timeout Show'.

Commenting on India's team combination, the veteran cricketer said India have a balanced side with all bases covered to play in any condition.

"They had to make some hard calls while Jaiswal was a great player, that's leaving out top quality players is always difficult and having a plan and staying to it when you've got great players sitting on the sidelines is always very difficult because it's tempting to keep looking where the grass is greener, but I like the job they've done, they've got through. This is a team that in some ways is picked for the finals in my view, it's a team that has spinners that can dominate, it has players that can dominate spin and we've seen spin in the West Indies play quite a big part, not so much in New York," he said.

"So, I think they've got job done and they've got quite smartly a view of mind, this is how we want to play the key games now going into hopefully the semi-finals and final. If you work backwards and say this is the team, I want for the final because these are the conditions I think and then work backwards, then this looks some way what Rahul and the boys have done. They've picked a team that they think may be playing a turning track, this will give us our best chance at the top and has good balance and we've seen that sort of in stops and starts and it's just been because of conditions but I think they're in good shape," Fleming added.

India have topped Group A with seven points including three consecutive wins against Ireland, Pakistan and the USA. The Rohit Sharma-led side will take on Afghanistan in their first Super Eight match in Barbados on Thursday, June 20. 

If conditions are good for spinners, then India may play Axar, Jadeja and Kuldep together and rest Siraj or Arshdeep. 

Based on performances so far, if a pacer has to sit out, it may very well be Siraj. Because Arshdeep has been impressive so far and he is a left-arm pacer, which weighs in his favour.  (With IANS support)

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