T20 World Cup: 'Kuldeep is ready to make substantial impact against England', says Piyush Chawla

by IANS |

 June 27 (IANS) Piyush Chawla, the veteran India leg-spinner, believes left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav is in prime form and is ready to make a substantial impact for the Rohit Sharma-led side in their 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup semifinal clash against England at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Thursday night. After not featuring in Group A matches due to fast-bowling friendly conditions in New York, Kuldeep has yielded fruitful returns to be India’s controller of proceedings in the middle overs, picking seven wickets at an average of 10.71, and economy rate of just 6.25 in India’s Super Eights games in the Caribbean. With the venue in Guyana expected to aid spinners, Kuldeep is expected to bring his adaptability to the fore and lead India's charge against England through his subtle changes in pace, variations and using the crease well to bamboozle the batters. "Kuldeep Yadav's resurgence has been one of the greatest comebacks in the history of Indian cricket. His absence in the 2022 semi-final was a significant miss for India, but this time, he's in prime form and ready to make a substantial impact. Kuldeep's unorthodox left-arm wrist spin and the ability to extract turn and bounce, coupled with his deceptive variations, can be a game-changer in the middle overs," said Chawla, an expert in ‘Caught and Bold’ show on Disney+ Hotstar, to IANS. Chawla also noted that Kuldeep has fared well against England on various occasions at the international level. He had also picked a six-fer against England in the Nottingham ODI in 2018, as well as five-fer in the Manchester T20I in the same tour. More recently, he took a five-fer in the final Test at Dharamshala, as India won the series 4-1. Kuldeep also has a good record against England skipper Jos Buttler, who he has dismissed three times in T20s. More recently, in IPL 2024, Kuldeep had trapped Buttler lbw on reverse-sweep during the Delhi Capitals-Rajasthan Royals game at Jaipur in March. In the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup game at Lucknow, the left-arm wrist spinner produced a magic moment when he pitched one outside the off-stump with a flatter trajectory and got the ball to turn sharply by nearly a mile to castle captain Jos Buttler through the gate with precision. "He also has a good record playing against England. In the upcoming semi-final, Kuldeep will be crucial in disrupting England's aggressive batting mantra. He will be India's trump card against England's explosive batting order. Given his current form and confidence, Kuldeep Yadav is poised to be a significant threat, making the middle overs a challenging period for England batsmen," added Chawla, a member of India’s 2011 ODI World Cup winning team. From England’s bowling perspective, leg-spinner Adil Rashid shapes up as a crucial figure in controlling the middle overs. In the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final meet between England and India at Adelaide, Rashid picked 1-20 in his four overs, including taking out an in-form Suryakumar Yadav, as Buttler & Co won by ten wickets. Chawla reckons Rashid, who has picked nine wickets in the ongoing tournament with his immaculate control on pace and variations, will be an important bowler for England to control the middle overs and put the pressure on India in the highly-anticipated semi-final clash. "Adil Rashid has been a crucial component for England in the middle overs. Rashid’s variations, including his googly and subtle changes in pace, makes him a formidable threat on the West Indian pitches. In the upcoming semi-final against India, Rashid's role will be pivotal for England to win. "If he can maintain his discipline and keep the pressure on, he could very well be the key for England putting pressure on Indian batsmen. His knack for breaking partnerships is especially valuable in the middle overs, a phase where the game often shifts decisively. England will be counting on Rashid to deliver a spell that not only controls the run flow but also provides breakthroughs at crucial moments," he concluded. 

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