Chattogram : After winning the first Test against Bangladesh by 188 runs, stand-in skipper KL Rahul said the visitors’ will get to know about the availability of regular captain Rohit Sharma in a day or two for the second Test starting from December 22.
Rohit had injured his left thumb while fielding in the second ODI against Bangladesh at Dhaka and had to fly back home to Mumbai to see a specialist, causing him to miss the third ODI and first Test.
In his absence, Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran was named as a replacement in the Indian squad for the first Test. “About Rohit, I think we will get to know in the next day or two. I am not even aware of it.
The focus was completely on the Test match,” said KL Rahul in the post-match press conference. In India’s victory at Chattogram on Sunday, left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav picked eight wickets in the match, while conceding 113 runs, also including a fantastic 5/40 in the first innings to bowl out Bangladesh for 150.
Rahul was happy that his ploy of bringing Kuldeep in the playing eleven worked well. “It’s just a gut feel I try to go with as a captain – try and read the situation. I felt there wasn’t much in it for finger spinners when I bowled Ashwin first, who also felt like there was not much help from the wicket.
I thought Kuldeep would bring in a different variety and that’s why we played him on a pitch like this. He brings in the variety, which is something different and it paid off, with which we are very happy.”
Rahul also went on to explain how Kuldeep’s five-wicket haul and Mohammed Siraj running through the Bangladesh top-order to pick three wickets in the first innings set the base for India’s win. “It gave us a lot of time in the Test match.
If in the second innings, Bangladesh would have gone on to get 300-350, then this game was headed towards a draw. We would have tried to make a game out of it and give ourselves the best chance to win this Test match, but it would have been really tough.”
“Once you bundle a team out for 100-150, it gives your team a lot of time to bat another 50-60 overs to score some quick runs and put them into bat again for two days, which gave our bowlers time to bowl them out in two days.
Once you get into day four or five, the wicket tends to generally break. But bowling them out for 150 in the first innings set us up.” Kuldeep was making his Test comeback after 22 months and after a time where a dip in form led to him being out of favour, followed by knee injury, surgery and then coming back into the national fold, followed by great performance for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2022.
Though I missed series against South Africa and England due to a hand injury, the last few months feel like Kuldeep’s resurgence tale is being scripted. Rahul elaborated on how the team culture is when backing a player like Kuldeep.
“At this level, players are naturally very motivated. You play for your country and have worked really hard since we were kids to get to this place. Sometimes when you are in and out of the team, and you don’t get too many opportunities, it’s very natural to fell down or not confident enough.
But as a group, you try to make everyone feel comfortable in the team and the talk is always about what the team needs.” “It is not about individuals, and it doesn’t really matter whether you have played 50 Test matches or first/second match.
You always try to see what the team needs and what we need to do to win a game of cricket. They may not have played enough international matches, but there’s a lot of cricket back home like first-class matches, List A, India A.”
“Everyone is playing enough cricket and when they come into the Indian team, they come in with enough games behind them. They then perform and then we give them a platform, bit of confidence. They have quality and that’s why they are here, to perform well.”
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