Team India has already started its preparations for the ODI World Cup 2023 as the marquee event is set to begin later this year in October. They are currently hosting Sri Lanka before welcoming New Zealand. The Men in Blue will then play host to a mighty Australian team for the much-anticipated Border Gavaskar Trophy which comprises four Tests. This would also be the final Test series for both sides and would decide their fate for the World Test Championship final.
While Australia have dominated the top spot in the WTC rankings for a long time, India are currently at the third spot owing to series wins against New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In India, spin has traditionally played an important role in determining the outcome of a series.
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Former Indian opener, Gautam Gambhir believes Kuldeep Yadav will be India’s “X-factor” over left-arm spinner Akshar Patel and veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Kuldeep once again proved his mettle in the second ODI against Sri Lanka on Thursday. Kuldeep, who returned with figures of 3/51 in 10 overs, was named man of the match.
During a chat on Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir said, ‘It is just a matter of his confidence. Whatever we have seen of Rohit Sharma, he can give that confidence to the young bowlers. Now the time has come for him to stick with Kuldeep Yadav. In international cricket, his bowling will be crucial in the Australia Test series. If you keep him in the shed and don’t let him play the one-day format and you suddenly bring him in for a Test series, he will have less bowling under his belt.
Kuldeep Yadav was part of the squad in India’s recent Test series against Bangladesh. During the opening game, he scored an innings of 40 (114) as he shared a crucial 87-run partnership with Ashwin, helping India post 404. He then took five wickets, which resulted in the hosts Bangladesh being bowled out for 150.
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Talking about the same, Gautam Gambhir said, “I think he should play every 50-over format till the Australia Test series because he is going to be a very important factor in that series. For me he is going to be the X-factor ahead of R Ashwin, Akshar Patel.