Ind vs Eng – Kuldeep Yadav – ‘Bazball has made bowlers plan how to restrict runs’

India’s left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav has said he enjoyed his first taste of England’s Bazball approach in Visakhapatnam because it not only created more wicket-taking opportunities but also made bowlers think about restricting batters in Test cricket.

“Usually in Tests you’re not used to teams attacking you with this kind of approach [Bazball], but it also involves you a lot more,” Kuldeep said ahead of the third Test against England starting on February 15 in Rajkot. “As a spinner it makes you more focused on how you want to bowl and what your approach is.

“Normally when you play Tests, you don’t worry about batters attacking you, you’re only focused on how you want to get them out. But here the approach is different, they’re in attacking mode so you also have to plan how to restrict them. When they play shots, you have those many opportunities to take wickets. It’s interesting. The last game was my first [against Bazball], I enjoyed it a lot, it’s good for cricket.”

The Visakhapatnam Test was only Kuldeep’s ninth Test since he made his debut in March 2017. It was his first in over 15 months. Kuldeep picked up three of his four wickets in the first innings as India took a 143-run lead that helped them level the five-Test series 1-1.

“It’s been good,” Kuldeep said with a smile when asked about finally getting a chance in Test cricket. “Whatever Tests I’ve played, I’ve performed well. I have three five-fors, so yeah it feels good when you see the stats. I’m very happy.”

The pitches for the first two Tests of this series have not been rank turners and, if that trend continues in Rajkot, Kuldeep could keep his place in the XI even if Ravindra Jadeja returns. Kuldeep’s accuracy and extra bounce made him more effective than Axar Patel in Visakhapatnam.

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“Am not sure of my position,” he said when asked about his chances of playing in Rajkot. “If I get the opportunity, I’ll be more than happy. I don’t think too much about whether am playing or not. I just enjoy my day and keep working hard. Combination is such a thing that it matters in a team game. As simple as that.”

“It’ll be a batting wicket,” he said when asked about the pitch for the upcoming Test against England. ‘It doesn’t mean there’ll be 700-800 runs scored. It’ll be a good wicket. It won’t be a rank turner, it will be a live wicket, good for cricket.”

Why has there been a sudden shift in the nature of pitches for this series?

“I haven’t played on rank turners, I don’t know what the approach or thought is, it’s a team management decision,” Kuldeep said. “Obviously everyone wants to watch good cricket. I don’t know if I’ll get an opportunity or not, but whether it’s flat wicket or rank turner, I enjoy it. I think batting is also important, not just spin bowling. Fast bowling comes into the game as well. It’s good for cricket. It’s not like you’ll see rank turners only, but hopefully you’ll see it [laughs].”

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