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Why 'Kul-Cha' are not in Team India anymore

By Rediff Cricket
May 21, 2021 15:18 IST
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Yuzvendra Chahal

IMAGE: Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav tasted success playing together. Photograph: BCCI
 

Between September of 2017 and July 2019, the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav -- the famed 'Kul-Cha' of Indian cricket -- featured together in 34 out of 53 ODIs for India.

India won 24 of the 34 games Kul-Cha played in. Kuldeep picked up a hat-trick during this time while Yuzi registered career-best figures of 6/42 against Australia, the first Indian bowler to grab a six-wicket ODI haul.

In the last two years, Kul-Cha have hardly played together. The reason, Yuzi explains, has to do with the combination of the team.

The leg-spinner, who last played alongside Kuldeep in the 2019 World Cup game against England, says the reason why Kul-Cha no longer feature together in India's Playing XI is because of what happened with Hardik Pandya and his injury.

'When Kuldeep Yadav and I used to play, Hardik Pandya was also there and he would bowl,' Yuzi told Sports Tak.

'In 2018 Hardik Pandya got injured and Ravindra Jadeja made a comeback (in white ball cricket) as an all-rounder, the one who could also bat at number 7. Unfortunately, he is a spinner, we could have played together if he was a medium pacer,' Yuzi explains.

Kuldeep and Yuzi's perfomances have declined over the last year or so. While Kuldeep has hardly played games for India, Yuzi has not played an ODI for India since November.

The leg-spinner featured in the three T20Is for India against England in March, picking up 1/44, 1/34 and 1/41.

'Kuldeep and I played 50-50 matches in any series. Sometimes he would play 3 matches of a five-match series, sometimes I would get the chance,' Yuzi points out.

'The team combination is needed, 11 players make a team and 'Kul-Cha' was not making it. We were there till Hardik was there, we were also given chances.'

'The need of the team was to have an all-rounder at the No 7 position. I am happy even if I am not playing, but the team is winning,' Yuzi adds.

Kuldeep and Chahal's exclusion has become a talking point just like finger spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who where shown the door in the shorter formats following the ICC 2017 Champions Trophy.

Jadeja made a comeback, but Ashwin couldn't.

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