One of the big positives for Indian cricket from the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 has been the performance of Kul-Cha (Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal). Although both are representing different franchises, their success only spells good news for Indian cricket as a whole. After 40 matches, Chahal was the leading wicket-taker in IPL 2022 with 18 scalps from eight matches for the Rajasthan Royals (RR), which included a hat-trick as well, which itself came as part of a five-wicket haul. As for left-arm spinner Kuldeep, he has 17 wickets from eight matches for the Delhi Capitals (DC).
What has stood out about the spin duo apart from the impressive numbers is the fact that they both have looked threatening like old. They have also been known as wicket-takers, and the respective captains, Sanju Samson (RR) and Rishabh Pant (DC), have utilized them very well, as attacking options. Following their success in IPL 2022, the million-dollar question is being asked again. Is there a place for the Kul-Cha diet in India’s T20 World Cup squad?
Only one might get picked, if at all
While both the spinners have impressed in the IPL, it is unlikely that they will feature in the T20 World Cup 2022 squad for India. The biggest point to remember here is that the ICC event will be held in Australia. As such, spinners will mostly have a holding role since there is not much for the slow bowlers on the true and hard surfaces Down Under. Thus, even if spin is India’s strength, it would be a pointless exercise for the selectors to pick more than a couple of spinners. And, as of now, Chahal and Kuldeep are on the waiting list as far as India’s playing XI is concerned.
The Men in Blue have two spin bowling all-rounders in left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and off-spinner Washington Sundar. Both of them are highly capable of sending down four overs each in a T20 match and picking up wickets as well. Given their ability with the bat and the fact that they have been first-choice spinners in the Indian team in recent times, Jadeja, in particular, they should get the nod in the T20 World Cup playing XI as well. However, Sundar has been prone to injuries of late. As such, Chahal might just get a nod in the T20 World Cup squad as a backup. He is a leggie and will add variety to the attack. Kuldeep’s chances are lesser since India already have a left-arm spinner in Jadeja.
Lack of batting skills Kul-Cha’s major drawback
There is definitely nothing wrong with Kul-Cha’s bowling at the moment. Both have found their confidence and are bowling with great rhythm. In a T20 match, bowlers hardly a get a chance to bat. However, the fact is when they do, they should be able to contribute. In a T20 match, every single run makes a difference. This is where Kuldeep and Chahal have fallen slightly behind in the pecking order with the emergence of the likes of Sundar and Jadeja’s constant rise. Even in the pace department, the Men in Blue have preferred the likes of Deepak Chahar and Harshal Patel, who have been able to chip in with the bat.
Lack of bat skills has definitely not been the major reason behind Chahal and Kuldeep not finding a place in the Indian squad regularly anymore. They lost their places in the team on the basis of their poor bowling form and made a comeback when the same improved to the almost desired level. In the interim, though, India discovered the value of multi-skilled cricketers, especially bowlers who can bat a bit. If India pick either half of Kul-Cha or both and they fail to deliver with the ball, the duo cannot make up with their batting. Harsh as it may sound, that’s the reality of the multi-dimensional T20 world.