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‘We do not mean that 700-800 runs will be scored here’ – Kuldeep Yadav drops major hint on Rajkot pitch ahead of third Test

In a departure from the age-old script of turning tracks, the ongoing Test series between India and England is weaving a captivating tale of bat versus ball on slow turners. The first two Tests have been a refreshing departure from the predictable spin-dominated matches, offering cricket enthusiasts an enticing mix of runs, wickets, and edge-of-the-seat action.

Since the 2012-13 home season, India’s strategy revolved around giving rank turners that left opposition teams befuddled. Spin maestros like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel made batters dance to their tunes, and India became a fortress at home. However, the current series is witnessing a divergence from this well-established narrative.

Recently, asked about the absence of rank turners in this series, India’s left-arm leg spin bowler Kuldeep Yadav expressed uncertainty, emphasizing the importance of good cricket.

“I have no idea. I haven’t played on rank turners. I did not play in the last series (the Border Gavaskar series in February-March last year) at home. So, I do not know what our approach or thinking would be. It is basically the team management’s decision. Obviously, all of you also want to watch good cricket. For good cricket, it’s important (that the wickets are good),” Kuldeep said, avoiding a firm stance on the matter, as quoted by Time of India.

Kuldeep, when questioned about the use of rank turners in home Tests, remained non-committal, emphasizing his enjoyment of playing on any surface. He highlighted the importance of batting alongside spin bowling and acknowledged the role of fast bowlers.

“I do not know that, I enjoy playing whenever I should get an opportunity to play, whether it is on a flat track or on a rank turner. I feel that keeping our batting in mind, batting too is important for us, and not just spin bowling. But if you see overall everything is important. See, overall, everything is important. The fast bowlers also come into play, like you saw in the last match. So (good wickets) are good for cricket. It is not (the case) that you will not get to see rank-turners going forward. Hopefully, in the future you will see (turning tracks),” he added.

Also Read: 3 Reasons why Dhruv Jurel deserves a spot over KS Bharat in playing XI

The first two Tests played on slow turners akin to the expected pitch for the third Test, have not adhered to the stereotype of short-lived matches on treacherous tracks. Both contests stretched to four days, delivering a balanced contest between bat and ball. England’s fightback at Hyderabad and Yashasvi Jaiswal’s scintillating double century at Visakhapatnam added layers of excitement, turning the series into a closely fought battle.

Unexpected twist as Pacers shine in the series:

Surprisingly, the usually spin-friendly pitches have seen the emergence of pace bowlers as key contributors. Jasprit Bumrah, not the expected Ravichandran Ashwin, leads the wicket-taking charts with 15 scalps, showcasing the evolving dynamics of the series. This shift challenges the traditional notion of India’s home advantage being solely dependent on rank turners.

Kuldeep labelled the Rajkot pitch as “good,” clarifying that it won’t be a rank turner but rather a balanced wicket. He emphasized that while it’s batting-friendly, it won’t witness extremely high scores. Kuldeep expressed hope that the pitch would benefit spinners, contributing to the intrigue surrounding the upcoming Test match.

Also Read: 3 Reasons why Dhruv Jurel deserves a spot over KS Bharat in playing XI

“It is not going to be a rank turner, but will be a good wicket. When we say it is going to be a batting (friendly) wicket we do not mean that 700-800 runs will be scored here, but it will be a better wicket compared to playing on a rank turner. I hope it helps the spinners who play,” he added.

The potential return of Ravindra Jadeja, recovering from a hamstring injury, adds another layer of anticipation to the third Test. Kuldeep, aware of the competition, remains optimistic about his chances but focuses on enjoying the game and staying committed to his process.

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