During a press conference, BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar highlighted the most crucial player for India ahead of the Australia series. Team India had an exceptional performance in the Asia Cup, culminating in a dominant 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka. Rohit Sharma’s team clinched their eighth title, with Mohammed Siraj playing a pivotal role in the final against the co-hosts in Colombo. Siraj’s exceptional performance significantly favoured India in the summit clash.
In the Asia Cup Super Fours stage, India continued their dominant performance. They began with a record-breaking 228-run victory over Pakistan, driven by unbeaten centuries from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. In the same match, Kuldeep Yadav achieved a five-wicket haul, restricting Pakistan to 128 in 32 overs.
In the following game against Sri Lanka, India defended a modest 213, with Kuldeep nearly taking consecutive five-wicket hauls but falling short by a wicket. His performance earned him the Player of the Series award, making him a crucial player for India in the upcoming World Cup.
It’s worth noting that a few years ago, Kuldeep struggled to secure a spot in both the Indian national team and his former IPL franchise, the Kolkata Knight Riders. However, his move to the Delhi Capitals revitalized his career, and he is now regarded as India’s “trump card” by BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar, who worked closely with him during his time as assistant coach of the Delhi Capitals.
“He’s a trump card” – Ajit Agarkar on Kuldeep Yadav
“I have spent time with him in the IPL. He’s a guy with special skillset. Every guy needs to be shown faith and the Indian team management has done that and the results are there. He’s a trump card (for us). Most teams are finding him a challenge. All of us are excited for what lies ahead,” Ajit Agarkar acknowledged Kuldeep’s ups and downs in his cricket journey during a press conference on Monday.
Meanwhile, Kuldeep and several other key players, including Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Hardik Pandya, have been given rest for the initial two matches of the three-match series against Australia, beginning on September 22. KL Rahul will take charge as the captain in Rohit’s absence.