I am a little surprised that KKR retained Kuldeep Yadav: Gautam Gambhir

Kuldeep Yadav was not part of the Indian T20I squad for the tour to Australia

Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir has expressed his surprise over Kuldeep Yadav being retained in the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) squad for IPL 2021.

Kuldeep Yadav was not a regular feature in the KKR playing XI in IPL 2020. The left-arm wrist-spinner got to play just five matches last season, with Varun Chakravarthy taking over the mantle of KKR’s premier Indian spinner from him.

While speaking on the Star Sports network, Gautam Gambhir stated that he would have preferred Kuldeep Yadav to play for some other franchise, where he would have been a regular feature in the playing XI.

He said:

“I am a little surprised about Kuldeep Yadav being retained because he did not get the opportunities. I would have wanted to see Kuldeep Yadav go to a franchise where he gets an opportunity to play.”

The former KKR skipper reasoned that Kuldeep Yadav’s lack of regular playing time even in the IPL will harm his selection prospects for the Indian team.

Gambhir added:

“Because if you are playing for India and not part of your franchise’s playing XI, it is somewhere or the other be harmful to your career.”

Gautam Gambhir hopes that Kuldeep Yadav is given a consistent run by KKR in IPL 2021. He added that the 26-year-old should ask to be released if he is not going to be given regular opportunities to ply his trade. He observed:

“Now that you have retained him, they should play him. Otherwise, I feel Kuldeep Yadav should have himself said that if he is not in their scheme of things, he should be given an opportunity to go and play somewhere else.”

Gambhir signed off by highlighting that Kuldeep Yadav would have gotten many takers at the auction table if he had been released by KKR.

He said:

“If Kuldeep Yadav had come into the auction, a lot of franchises would have gone for him.”

Kuldeep Yadav has had a rather indifferent run in the last couple of years, both in the IPL and international cricket. The wrist-spinner has played just 14 matches for KKR over the last two seasons of the IPL. He has bagged only five wickets in these encounters and has proved to be quite expensive.

Yadav has also fallen down the pecking order of spinners in the Indian cricket team in all formats of the game. He will hope to prove his credentials with consistent performances in the upcoming edition of the IPL and the Test series against England before that.

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