The left-arm wrist-spinner has had a wonderful time in international cricket from the time he was rewarded with his maiden India cap in a Test match against Australia in Dharamsala in March 2017. With as many as 146 wickets under his belt, including 87 in 44 one-day internationals, he has been well-conditioned to be the frontline spinner in the Indian armoury. There is no doubt that he will spark hope each time he is brought on to bowl in the World Cup.
The variation that he possesses, including the chinaman — the left-arm wrist-spinner's wrong one — would be of little use without his astounding accuracy. At a very young age, he has added rich layers to his craft, adjusting his length and pace in keeping with the nature of the surface that he is bowling on and the batsman that he is posing intriguing questions to.
He will draw strength from the fact that when he first bowled in a one-day international in England, he picked up a six-wicket haul in Trent Bridge. He will be aware that the team may not be in a position to field both Yuzvendra Chahal and him in all games in the World Cup and, therefore, be mentally ready to be the sole specialist spinner in the XI some time. He has the emotional strength to rally quickly and find his rhythm and wicket-taking ability.
Of course, it would be a joy if the spin twins can operate in tandem, especially against teams known to be weak against spin. Between them, they have 103 wickets in the 28 one-day internationals they have both played in. Kuldeep Yadav's strike rate showed improvement, even if marginally, when he has bowled alongside the leg-spinner.
Yet, irrespective of whether they get to play together in many of the World Cup games, the left-arm chinaman bowler will be exciting to watch.