Bengaluru: Still uncapped in the domestic limited overs arena, 19-year-old Kuldeep Yadav’s recent exploits with the Kolkata Knight Riders’ in the Champions League was statement enough for the talented chinaman’s inclusion in the Indian squad for the first three one-dayers against the West Indies, beginning in Kochi on October 8. The Kanpur teenager is the lone new face in the team, which has been pruned to 14 from the 17 which toured England.
The BCCI selection committee which met here on Saturday, decided to omit all-rounder Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Dhawal Kulkarni and Karn Sharma, all of whom made the England trip. While the injured Rohit Sharma was unavailable for selection, the selectors have decided to rest R. Ashwin. M. Vijay, who was called up as cover for Rohit during the England series keeps his spot.
Joining Kuldeep in the squad is the seasoned Amit Mishra. The leggie, who was impressive in India A’s nine-wicket win over West Indies on Friday claiming three wickets, last played an ODI in June when India made a quick visit to Bangladesh.The selection of Kuldeep, a left-arm wrist spinner may have come as a surprise to many considering his lack of exposure on the domestic circuit , but his performance at the junior level speaks volumes for his ability and talent.
In Kuldeep, like KKR, India may have found a weapon otherwise relatively unknown. He made the KKR first team cut against Lahore Lions last month.Practicing a form of tweaking, which is quite a rarity, Kuldeep made his U-19 debut in Australia two seasons ago and played his first domestic limited overs match (T20) against Vidharbha in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament in March this year.
In order to tap his potential, the Knight Riders sent Kuldeep to Bloemfontein, South Africa along with Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla and Manvinder Bisla for training before the Champions League.