Following the national team’s 188-run victory over Bangladesh in the first Test at Chattogram on Sunday, former India batter Mohammad Kaif highlighted a grim reality of Indian cricket. One of the primary forces behind India’s victory was opener Shubman Gill, who smashed a century in the second essay, and spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who returned with match numbers of 8/113.
Mohammad Kaif, however, thinks that if skipper Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja returned to the team, two players might still be removed from Team India’s starting eleven very soon.
While Shubman Gill was forced to sit out the first Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka owing to the absence of Rohit Sharma due to a dislocated thumb, Ravindra Jadeja is expected to make a comeback during India’s domestic season against Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Australia.
According to Mohammad Kaif, it is unfair to remove players who have been contributing to the team well in favor of a veteran player because they might not get another opportunity for a while, as has been the case with both Kuldeep Yadav and Shubman Gill.
But in order to guarantee their spots in India’s starting lineup, Kuldeep Yadav and Shubman Gill must both maintain their motivation and keep picking up wickets and scoring runs.
“He was hurt when he was with KKR. He was emotional but made a brilliant comeback. The run of couple of years where he wasn’t getting a place in the Test team, his white-ball performance wasn’t up to the mark and he never really got any support. This Man of the Match trophy will hold a great place in his career now. Because India will still be looking at Ashwin and Jadeja.
His place is still not certain in the Indian team. Against Australia if India play two spinners. Jadeja and Ashwin will still be the choices. He is still the third spinner so the challenge is still there. What he needs to do is to make the most of the chances he gets. That five-wicket haul in the first innings on this pitch was huge. It showed class,” Mohammad Kaif said about Kuldeep Yadav.
“It is a tough call because of the template they are following in Test cricket. They are playing with five bowlers. You could have adjusted him if you were playing four bowlers. It will be difficult to fit him in. He might have to wait if Rohit Sharma comes back,” Mohammad Kaif argued in favor of Shubman Gill.
“He has the form. If I am Shubman Gill at the moment, I will not think if my selection will happen or not, I have done my job. No one can stop him from becoming an all-format player,” he added.
“Shubman Gill has the technique, scores runs consistently, and has the hunger. He scored in the IPL and won Gujarat Titans the title, has scored centuries in ODI and Test cricket, so his 2022 has been fantastic,” the ex-India batter said.
“You will not be able to stop such a player for a long time, whether you have to drop KL Rahul or Shreyas Iyer for that, the place will get created. He is looking better and better whenever he is given the opportunity. The Test match is after three days, Rohit Sharma might not come as well,” Mohammad Kaif noted.
Former India captain Ajay Jadeja expressed feelings in a manner similar to his.
“The skill that he possess, based on that he is the No.1. But if you stick to finger-spinners, Kuldeep will be the third choice, but when conditions aren’t favourable for spinners, he then becomes the No.1 spinner. I always keep track of the selection process and he has always faced rejection.
This time he was selected and he proved it. Because it wasn’t necessary to play him given that India had two spinners, but they took a call, it was a good one and hope they continue with it,” Ajay Jadeja concluded.
Ajay Jadeja made shocking remarks about Rohit Sharma before praising Kuldeep Yadav, saying that he ought to sit at home so that Shubman Gill could start the second Test against Bangladesh.
Shubman Gill, who replaced Rohit Sharma in the lineup because of his absence, scored his first Test century in the second innings, helping India win the opening match of the two-match series.
Ajay Jadeja suggested that Rohit Sharma prolong his injury-forced break rather than disrupt the opening combination between him and KL Rahul after observing Shubman Gill’s outstanding performance in Chattogram.
“Tabhi toh bol raha hu Rohit ko bolo ghar me baithne ke liye (That is why I suggest Rohit should stay at home). When a player suffers a hand fracture and you cannot hold the bat for about 10 days, even if you recover, you cannot really join the team the very next day. It takes another 1- to 15 days.
And we don’t even know the extent of the injury yet. That is why I suggest this. We are looking for a temporary solution and this is the best solution for it,” Ajay Jadeja said on Sony Sports.