"I don't regret that"- Stand-in captain KL Rahul's blunt statement on dropping Kuldeep Yadav in 2nd Test vs BAN
Team India registered a close win over Bangladesh in the second test at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka. It was closer than the number suggests. India won it by three wickets after losing the first seven wickets for just 74 runs in a chase of 145 runs.
It was a match-winning partnership between Shreyas Iyer and Ravi Ashwin of 71 runs that won the game for India. Ashwin made 42 not out while Iyer was unbeaten on 29. With this win, India completed a 2-0 whitewash.
Most of the top-order batters failed in the first two innings of the second test, including captain KL Rahul. But apart from the batting form, there was another thing that raised the eyebrows of many fans, and that was the exclusion of Kuldeep Yadav from the playing XI.
Kuldeep, who was named "Man of the Match" after taking 8 wickets and batting for 40 runs, was left out of the team for the second test. He was replaced with left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat, which shocked many former cricketers and experts as well.
Observing the pitch at Mirpur, spinners are most affected on the surface, as evidenced by Bangladesh's batting in the second inning. The middle-order batter for the home team attacked the Indian bowlers and added vital runs from 102/5.
Many believed that Kuldeep was a major miss for India in the second game. Meanwhile, the stand-in captain backed the Indian team's decision to drop Kuldeep after winning the second test. Notably, 12 out of the 16 wickets that fell in the third and fourth innings were taken by spinners.
Rahul said that the team took the decision after assisting the pitch on the first morning of Day 1, and it looked like it would assist the pacers. He added that they wanted to play with the best players, and that was how the decision was taken.
Rahul said, "It was a tough call, knowing and understanding that he had just won the Test for us. We wanted to play the best team we can. And that's the call we made. I don't regret that, and that was the right decision."
Furthermore, he said that the final decision was taken on the basis of playing ODIs in Mirpur because it helps both pacers and spinners. With this win, India has firmed up its grip on the ongoing World Test Championship table.