Updated February 13th, 2024 at 16:37 IST

Why there were no rank turners for the first two India vs England Tests? Kuldeep Yadav responds

India spinner Kuldeep Yadav on Tuesday said that rank turners might come into play in the ongoing Test battle against England but admitted that sporting tracks, like the ones seen in the first two games, are "good for cricket". The two sides have assembled for the third Test starting on Thursday.

Rohit Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav on the field during the IND vs ENG match in Vizag | Image: BCCI
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India spinner Kuldeep Yadav on Tuesday said that rank turners might come into play in the ongoing Test battle against England but admitted that sporting tracks, like the ones seen in the first two games, are "good for cricket".

The two sides have assembled here for the third Test starting at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium from Thursday, with the series poised at 1-1.

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"Overall, everything is important. The fast bowlers also come into play, like you saw in the last match. So (good wickets) are good for cricket. It is not (the case) that you will not get to see rank turners going forward. Hopefully, in the future you will see (turning tracks)," Kuldeep said while addressing a media conference ahead of India's training session on Tuesday.

A depleted India were pushed by an aggressive England, who beat them comfortably in the first Test, but the hosts bounced back in the second. Both the matches were played on pitches that were not predominantly spin-friendly and had something for everyone.

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"I have no idea. I haven't played on rank turners. I did not play in the last series (Border-Gavaskar series in February-March last year) at home," he replied when asked why there were no rank turners for the first two Tests.

"I do not know what our approach or thinking would be. It is basically the team management's decision. Obviously, all of you also want to watch good cricket. For good cricket, it's important (that the wickets are good)," he said.

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Kuldeep chose to side-step when asked whether rank turners should be there or not.

"I do not know that, I enjoy playing, whenever I get an opportunity to play, whether it is on a flat track or on a rank turner...batting too is important for us, not just spin bowling," he said.

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"When we say it is going to be a batting (friendly) wicket, we do not mean that 700-800 runs will be scored here, but it will be a better wicket compared to playing on a rank turner," he said.

England's approach unusual for Test cricket 

Kuldeep admitted that England's aggressive approach with the bat has been unusual to deal with in Test cricket.

"...in Test cricket, you are not used to having someone with such an attacking batting approach. But at the same time, you are more involved in the game. As a spinner you are more focused on the game, how you are going to bowl and what your approach will be," he said.

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"Sometimes in Test cricket, you are not overly worried if the batter would attack much and you focus on how to dismiss them.

"But here the approach is different, they are in attacking mode so you have to plan on how to restrict them because (if they are) playing more shots, then more opportunities are being created to take a wicket," he added.

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Opportunity for youngsters 

India have been depleted further with KL Rahul set to miss the third Test, but Kuldeep said it is an opportunity for young players in the side to prove their mettle.

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"...that gives a chance to a newcomer who can get the opportunity. I am sure they have done really well in domestic cricket and it is their time to show what they have got. It is good for Indian cricket and for the individuals as well," he said.

Kuldeep, however, hoped that all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will be back into the side to play on his home turf after suffering a hamstring injury in the first Test.

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"He is doing his routine (work). He did one session yesterday (Monday) and I think he is available," Kuldeep said. 

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Published February 13th, 2024 at 16:37 IST