India's top two spinners - Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, are racing against time to be fit for the third Test against Australia at the MCG. If the two do not regain full fitness and are forced to miss the Test, will chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav get a chance to bamboozle the Aussie batsmen with his varieties?
The Uttar Pradesh bowler has been a part of the playing XI in just five of the last 20 Tests that India have played. Since his debut against the same Australian side in March of 2017 at Dharamsala, Kuldeep has taken 19 wickets at an acceptable average of just over 25. The last Test that the left-arm spinner played was against West Indies in Hyderabad in October this year.
More than abilities, luck would play a major role in deciding whether Kuldeep gets a go at the MCG. He has not been given many chances to prove his worth and it remains to be seen if India captain Virat Kohli sees a potential match-winner in Kuldeep and includes him in the team.
Kuldeep is the only spinner left in the squad if Ashwin and Jadeja don't play at the MCG. If not now, then when will he play? Surely, the Indian team is not exploring the option of having an all-pace attack for Melbourne too. Playing with only pacers backfired on the hosts in an Ashes Test last time around. Will Virat take that risk knowing a loss in Melbourne will end India's dream of winning their first Test series in Australia.
What also works in Kuldeep's favour is the bounce that Australian pitches offer. And, it is a well-known fact that the Australian batsmen are not the best when it comes to playing quality spinners.
Kuldeep has been a revelation in the ODIs and T20Is. It is time he gets a chance to better his Test record and showcase his skills with the red cherry.