Chahal and Kuldeep featured together in 34 ODIs and worked in tandem to pick 118 wickets. However, the dependable wrist-spin duo has hardly played in the same Playing XI for the past few months.
Kuldeep, who has currently been sidelined from all three formats of the national team, believes it tough for him and Chahal to play together after all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja‘s return to the limited-overs fold. In a recent interview, the chinaman bowler explained the team management’s move to not slot him and Chahal in the same XI.
“Yes, it depends on what the team wants. Team combination matters a lot and I personally feel Jadeja brings a lot of depth in the batting. He scores both with bat and ball. So, it is always tough to choose between him and us,” Kuldeep told Crictracker.
Out-of-favour Kuldeep also rued that he’s not got much game-time under his belt. The 26-year-old didn’t feature in a single game for KKR in the recently-suspended IPL 2021, and was also overlooked from India’s squad for the gruelling England tour. Last IPL season as well, Kuldeep played just five matches in the UAE where he picked just one wicket.
Kuldeep, however, labelled the Indian team management ‘supportive’ and also said that coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli keep talking to him.
“I just think I should be playing more games because when you don’t do that, you tend to lack both rhythm and confidence. While being in regular touch, you are always high. Yes, the last two years were difficult and very different for me.
“I didn’t get a chance due to the team combination and sometimes you need to sacrifice your spot as well. However, some games didn’t go in my favour but you always need to work hard and keep the momentum going, your time will probably come.
“Team management has been very supportive in these times. The best thing is that they always tell me about things happening in the team or what they want right now. Virat and Ravi Bhai also keep talking to me regularly and tell me the things needed in the match. Bharat Arun has also been supportive alongside management,” said Kuldeep.