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Iconic India batsman Sachin Tendulkar believes that spinner Kuldeep Yadav could be a nightmare for England’s batsmen to deal with during the upcoming five-Test series.
Kuldeep was included in India’s squad for the first three Tests, and has been in exceptional form in the lead-up to the Test series, which begins on August 1 at Edgbaston.
In the Twenty20 series against England, Kuldeep took five wickets in two matches at an average of 11.60.
He followed that up with nine wickets, which included a career-best six-for, in the three-match ODI series at an average of 16.44.
Given his superb performance with the ball in the limited overs series, Tendulkar is confident that Kuldeep can maintain his red-hot form in the Test series.
“Whatever I saw on television, Root picked Kuldeep from his hand and did that really well,” Tendulkar told PTI as quoted by the Deccan Herald. “Now Kuldeep’s wrist action is a complex one and once he lands the ball, I don’t think too many batsmen in world cricket have got the ability to tackle him off the pitch. Root could afford to play Kuldeep late because he was picking his wrist position early.
“I don’t think all the other England batsmen have played Kuldeep well. The kind of weather that has been in England with the sun baking the pitches, Kuldeep will be very much in action and so will be the other Indian spinners.
“If the pitches remain flat and dry like the ones during the limited overs leg, India are in with a very good chance. But if it’s a green top, obviously, the England seamers will come into play.”
Meanwhile, Tendulkar admitted that India will sorely miss the pace duo of Bhuvneshear Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
Kumar will miss the first three Tests with a back injury, but it remains to be seen whether he will play any part in the series at all as he has returned home to undergo rehabilitation.
As for Bumrah, he underwent surgery for a thumb injury and will miss the first Test. However, there is a possibility he will be fit for the second Test at Lord’s on August 9.
“Bhuvi’s injury (stiff back) is a real setback for India. I for one was expecting a lot from him,” Tendulkar said. “He has over the years performed at a level that you expect a certain kind of performance from him. With his ability to swing the ball, he was going to be very critical to India’s scheme of things during the Test series.
“And let’s not forget those runs that Bhuvi scored in England during the last series (2014). He is a decent enough batsman, who could string those partnerships at the back end of the innings. But then, I believe that we still have a lot of quality in our pace department (Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur).
“Bumrah was certainly missed by India in the ODI series during those crucial death overs where he has been a champion bowler. He has started off well in Test cricket and this series is a wonderful opportunity for him. But he is expected to comeback during second Test. So I am hoping for the best.”