Virat Kohli has often been criticized for his team combinations. In the first Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy, the Indian skipper opted for Prithvi Shaw and Wriddhiman Saha over Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant. Both of them were drafted into the team after India’s poor show at Adelaide and performed exceptionally well. He also raised several eyebrows when he picked Washington Sunder ahead of Kuldeep Yadav in the fourth Test at Brisbane.
With no Ravindra Jadeja, there were high chances of India going in with Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav as their two primary spinners but Kohli instead opted for Shahbaz Nadeem, a player who wasn’t even in the test squad. Nadeem had a match to forget as he conceded 223 runs for his four wickets. He wasn’t able to keep the pressure from the other end that allowed England to get an upper hand in the match.
Talking about Kuldeep, Kohli said that he has no regrets of not playing the chinamen bowler in the first Test. He said that all of Ashwin, Sunder and Kuldeep are similar kinds of bowlers and playing them together would have made the Indian attack one dimensional.
“Not really, not at all. When you play 2 off-spinners, Kuldeep more or less, becomes a similar bowling option with him taking the ball away. You need variety in the bowling attack. So we were quite clear on the combination we wanted to play. So there are no regrets in that decision. Moving forward, we will think of combinations which will give us variety in the bowling attack. Not one dimensional, so these things are very important going forward,” Virat Kohli said.
India will be looking to get their combination right for the next Test that gets underway on February 12th. The possibility of Kuldeep Yadav getting a game in the next match looks grim as India might want to play Axar Patel ahead of him. However, if Axar is not fit, Kuldeep Yadav might get a game in place of Shahbaz Nadeem.