Legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has showered praise on India’s star spinner Kuldeep Yadav for his outstanding performance in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023. Yadav has been a standout performer, taking nine wickets in just four matches to be the leading wicket-taker for the Men in Blue in the tournament. With an impressive economy rate of 3.70, Yadav has been instrumental in India’s journey in the Asia Cup.
Gavaskar lauded Yadav’s wrist-spin prowess, emphasizing that wrist spinners, be it right-arm or left-arm, possess the ability to bag crucial wickets. He highlighted that in limited-overs cricket, taking wickets is equivalent to delivering the best dot balls. Furthermore, Gavaskar commended Yadav’s tactical approach of bowling flatter and spinning the ball, making him a formidable force for the opposition.
Despite missing the Super Four clash against Bangladesh, Yadav is expected to return for the final match against Sri Lanka on September 17 in Colombo. His presence in the crucial match promises to be a game-changer for India.
“Kuldeep has shown that he can make a difference. Wrist spin, whether it is right-arm of left-arm, can get you wickets. And wickets are the best dot balls in limited overs cricket. Also, the fact that he is bowling a little flatter, not giving that much air, getting the ball to spin, makes him difficult to play,” Gavaskar said as quoted by Indiatoday.
Gavaskar also offered advice to the Indian batters on tackling Sri Lanka’s left-arm spinner, Dunith Wellalage. Wellalage, who dismantled the Indian batting lineup in the previous encounter with a five-wicket haul, has emerged as a potential threat. With ten wickets from five matches, he is in contention for the tournament’s top wicket-taker.
Gavaskar recommended that the Indian batters adopt a different approach, using their footwork effectively to disrupt Wellalage’s length. While acknowledging the challenging conditions, he stressed the importance of driving the spinner with quick footwork whenever he gives flight to the ball. He cautioned against attempting lofted shots unless the pitch favors such strokes.
“I think they would try and get to the pitch of the ball as quickly as possible. It’s not an easy wicket to always toss the ball up. But every time he gives the ball a little bit of air, drive him with quick footwork. Unless the pitch is flat and there is not much turn, don’t look to loft him. Make him think,” he added.