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Having wrist spinner like Kuldeep Yadav in World Cup squad is priority, says Ravi Shastri

Sports Cafe 2019-01-09 09:59:38

Ravi Shastri has almost confirmed that Kuldeep Yadav’s place in the upcoming World Cup is all but cemented after the 24-year-old’s mesmerizing display on Australian soil. He also revealed that Rishabh Pant has been asked to take a break before joining the India A squad to polish his finishing skill.

Australia has always been Kuldeep Yadav’s favourite opponent. Two years back in March 2017, when the wrist spinner was asked to debut on international circuit against the Aussies in Dharamsala, he had ended up taking four wickets. And last week, when he was called upon to do the job for the first time on Australian soil, Yadav picked five wickets giving away 99 runs. 

Though relentless downpour ensured India didn’t get a victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Yadav’s heroics helped his team to force a follow on before the match ended in a draw. And coach Shastri seemed immensely impressed by Yadav’s display and almost guaranteed him a place in the upcoming World Cup in May this year.

"Kuldeep comes into the mix big time now (in the World Cup). He might be in every Indian XI that plays (in the World Cup) because he has the advantage of a wrist spinner. We might need to choose between the other two finger spinners because wrist spinner now is the priority," said Shastri in an interview with 'India Today' TV channel, reported PTI.

While Cheteshwar Pujara hogged most of the limelight in the four-match Test series, India got a revelation in wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, who managed to score 350 runs at an average of 58.33 to become the second leading run-scorer for India. His unbeaten 159 run-innings was a huge contribution to the team, although it wasn’t enough for him to take MS Dhoni’s place in the ODI squad for the upcoming series in Australia and New Zealand.  

Shastri, however, encouraged the 21-year-old revealing that he is on a learning stage and has been specifically asked to finish games off, which would be handy for India during the World Cup.

"We have asked him to go back because he has been playing non-stop cricket. I think he needs a break for a couple of weeks and then join the India A team. He has been asked to do a specific job, to get into the habit of finishing off matches and he will be right there in the mix," he added.