'Would've picked him any day': Gautam Gambhir 'massively surprised' at India's selection of Nadeem over Kuldeep

'Would've picked him any day': Gautam Gambhir 'massively surprised' at India's selection of Nadeem over Kuldeep

 Explaining his reasons for calling India’s selection ‘a massive surprise,’ Gautam Gambhir said Kuldeep Yadav can turn it both ways and would have been an asset for India in the first Test against England.

R Ashwin celebrates the wicket of Rory Burns on Day 1 of India vs England first Test(BCCI)

India’s decision to play Shahbaz Nadeem in place of Kuldeep Yadav in the first Test against England in Chennai was a bit ‘unfortunate’ and ‘surprising’ for former India opener Gautam Gambhir.

Nadeem who was drafted into the Test squad after all-rounder Axar Patel was ruled out of the first Test with a knee injury, was picked as India’s second spinner with Ravichandran Ashwin being the spearhead and Washington Sundar the all-rounder at No.7.


Gambhir said Kuldeep should’ve been picked straight up as he could have had an impact at the start of the series.


“Little unfortunate on Kuldeep’s part. They should have actually picked Kuldeep against England. A left-arm wrist spinner is a unique commodity. He’s been with the team without playing much. He would have been a great asset,” Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.

India vs England live score first Test Day 1


Kuldeep was the only cricketer of the original Test squad who did not get a game in Australia despite being fit. His last match was two years ago in 2019 in Australia and in that match, he managed a five-wicket haul.

“You got to use him first up in the series, you don’t wanna wait for the second or third test match because a lot of times we’ve seen how a wrist spinner can actually turn the game. So it’s a bit unfortunate and surprising as well,” Gambhir said.


Explaining his reasons for calling India’s selection ‘a massive surprise,’ Gambhir said Kuldeep can turn it both ways and would have been an asset for India in the first Test.


“They are playing two off-spinners. Yes, probably they wanted a little more depth in the batting at No.7 and No.8. So it’s a massive surprise. I would have picked Kuldeep any day. Whether it’s a right hander or a left hander, it really doesn’t matter when you’ve got a left-arm spinner who can take it both ways,” Gambhir added.

Interestingly, India head coach Ravi Shastri and stand-in skipper for three Tests in Australia Ajinkya Rahane had indicated that Kuldeep will get his opportunity in the home series against England.


England meanwhile, reached 67 for two at lunch on Day 1 after Joe Root opted to bat first. Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah were the wicket-takers for India.

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