Kuldeep Yadav's childhood coach Kapil Dev Pandey has slammed Virat Kohli for preferring Axar Patel ahead of his student only because of his batting abilities. Pandey has also credited Rohit Sharma for bringing Kuldeep back into India's limited-overs setup against West Indies in February this year.
Kuldeep Yadav has been in the form of his life in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 for Delhi Capitals (DC). With the help of two four-wicket hauls, both against his former franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the 27-year-old left-arm wrist spinner has snared 17 scalps in nine matches in IPL 2022. He has also won four Player of the Match awards as well.
Kuldeep had a decent start for Team India, but was not able to keep the purple patch intact. He stopped playing for the national side under the leadership of Virat Kohli but Rohit Sharma, after being appointed India's full-time captain across formats, brought him back into the mix. Kuldeep's childhood coach Kapil Dev Pandey thanked Rohit for believing in his student.
"Whenever captains trusted him, Kuldeep delivered. He has a good record in Tests. He has two hat-tricks in ODIs. He has a good T20I record. But still, he didn't get enough opportunities. This is really shocking. Kuldeep's career is protected because of Rohit Sharma. Rohit is the man behind Kuldeep's resurgence. He is a fantastic captain and he knows how to find talent in a big group of players. Ahead of the IPL, Rohit called Kuldeep and gave him the chance (against the West Indies). Kuldeep delivered too by taking two wickets," Kuldeep told Times of India.
Further, while applauding Rohit for Kuldeep's resurgence, Pandey slammed Kohli for not keeping faith in his student, saying: "Rohit kept a close eye on Kuldeep, his Yo-Yo Test and rehab reports. Rohit was impressed with Kuldeep's rehab programme. Rohit should be credited for Kuldeep's comeback. He wouldn't have been here today without the support of Rohit, Pant and Ponting. Every captain has their own style of captaining and picking players. Kuldeep played a lot of cricket under Virat. Virat wants experience in the side. He went with Ashwin and Jadeja. He preferred Axar ahead of Kuldeep because of Axar's batting capabilities. A captain has to trust his players.
In the Purple Cap chart in IPL 2022, Kuldeep is only behind his long-time friend Yuzvendra Chahal, who has bagged 19 wickets so far in nine matches.