After registering 2-0 series triumph over Bangladesh, India captain KL Rahul said the decision to leave out left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav from the playing eleven for Dhaka Test was taken to have a balanced attack in longer formats, which was made after seeing the pitch on the eve and morning of the match.
On his Test comeback after 22 months, Kuldeep won the Player of the Match award after India registered a comprehensive 188-run win in the first Test against Bangladesh at Chattogram, picking eight wickets, including a fantastic 5/40 to bowl out Bangladesh for 150 in their first innings.
But he was left out of the eleven at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, with left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat coming in, who returned with a match haul of three wickets on his return to Test cricket after 12 years. Kuldeep's omission led to huge outcry on social media, with legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar terming the decision as 'unbelievable'.
"Ideally, if the impact player rule that has been introduced in IPL (will be introduced in 2023 season), had been there in Test matches as well, I would have definitely loved to bring in Kuldeep in the second innings. It was a tough call knowing and understanding that in the last match he won us the game against Bangladesh. He was the Man of the Match."
"It was a tough call, but what we felt after seeing the pitch before and on the first day, we though there would be assistance for both fast bowlers and spinners and keeping that in mind, we wanted to play the best balanced team possible," said Rahul in the post-match press conference.
Now looking at India winning by three wickets in a thrilling fashion, the decision to omit Kuldeep didn't come back to hit them hard. Rahul explained that the decision to get Unadkat in for Kuldeep also came from India's understanding of conditions at the venue during the ODI leg of the tour, which was won 2-1 by Bangladesh.
"That is a call we made and I don't regret that decision, it was a right decision. If you notice, the fast bowlers took a lot from the 20 wickets that were taken. There was assistance for the fast bowlers and lot of inconsistent bounce. And we took this decision keeping in mind our experience of playing in the one-dayers."
"We played two one-day matches here and we saw that there is assistance for both spin and fast. Keeping that in mind and Test matches go on for four-five days, you need to have a balanced attack and that was the mindset, which was the right call."