ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Kuldeep Yadav's loss of form gives India headache ahead of showpiece event

Kuldeep Yadav sits at seventh in the bowlers’ rankings in one-day internationals, one spot ahead of spin-bowling colleague Yuzvendra Chahal.

Reuters, Apr 22, 2019 16:14:03 IST

Mumbai: Kuldeep Yadav is expected to lead India’s slow-bowling attack in the World Cup but his poor form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) could become a headache for Virat Kohli’s men with just over a month left before the 50-over tournament.

The left-arm wristspinner sits at seventh in the bowlers’ rankings in one-day internationals, one spot ahead of spin-bowling colleague Yuzvendra Chahal.

File image of Kuldeep Yadav. Sportzpics

File image of Kuldeep Yadav. Sportzpics

The duo have emerged as India’s frontline spinners and named in the 15-man World Cup squad alongside left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

The wily 24-year-old has 87 wickets from 44 ODIs at an enviable average of less than 22. He took 12 wickets in the 2017 edition of the IPL and five more last year but has endured nightmare this season.

Kuldeep has taken four wickets in nine matches at an economy rate of 8.66 while bowling 33 overs for the Kolkata Knight Riders, who have lost five matches on the trot and are placed sixth in the eight-team league.

He was dropped for Sunday’s outing against Sunrisers Hyderbad after the mauling he received against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday during which he took 1-59 in his four overs.

“Definitely a form issue, he didn’t stand up for us in the previous game. That’s why we had to give him a break and get him back fresh,” KKR captain Dinesh Karthik said after his team’s loss on Sunday.

“Kuldeep’s not been bowling as well as he would have liked, as we would have liked as well. That’s why we gave him a break, that’s the only reason that we haven’t played him this game.”

Despite the difference in formats, the IPL is the only competitive cricket left before the World Cup-bound Indians leave for England.

Kuldeep has always looked to be attacking, tempting batsmen with his flighted deliveries and in the process conceding some extra runs, but the assault by England all-rounder Moeen Ali on Friday left him broken.

The left-handed Moeen smashed Kuldeep for three sixes and two fours in a 27-run over before falling on the last delivery, leaving the bowler teary-eyed and dejected on the field.

Bangalore and India captain Kohli was at the other end witnessing Kuldeep’s misery and would hope his ace spinner will regain both his guile and confidence before India begin their quest for their third World Cup title with a match against South Africa on 5 June.

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Updated Date: Apr 22, 2019 16:14:42 IST


Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
14 9 5 0 18
14 9 5 0 18
14 9 5 0 18
14 6 8 0 12
14 6 8 0 12
14 6 8 0 12
14 5 8 0 11
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254