Kuldeep Yadav could provide that extra bit of wicket-taking flair: Stephen Fleming on Team India playing spinners in Super 8

Team India have reached the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Super 8 stage with an unbeaten record and are placed in Group 1 alongside Australia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Ahead of their Super 8 opener against Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval Barbados on Thursday, June 20, former New Zealand skipper and current CSK coach Stephen Fleming claimed India spinner Kuldeep Yadav could provide that “extra bit of wicket-taking flair” for India in Super 8s.

Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming speaking exclusively to ‘ESPNCricinfo Timeout show’ on playing spinners in the combination by the Indian team in West Indies, said, “Yeah, I think so but they’ve still got that opportunity now to do both which is good and horses for courses, you can’t be so set in one way of playing that you miss the opportunities to take advantage of conditions as you say but yeah, I would think maybe Kuldeep would come in to provide that extra bit of wicket-taking flair if the wickets do provide the turn as they get a little bit more used and you get closer to the end of the tournament.

Fleming on playing two left-arm spinning all-rounders in combination, said,” I don’t think so, sometimes it’s hard to manage two players to do the same thing, Mitchell Santner and Ravindra Jadeja sort of do the same role for us in CSK and we sometimes find it hard around the selection to get eight overs of exactly the same skill set, they are different bowlers, they bowl differently but both of them when conditions are right can be a real handful, so with their all-round skills and their batting skills it allows India to try that and Jadeja in the right conditions can be incredibly dangerous which we’ve seen over many years, as Axar can provide a different type of attack where conditions are slightly different like in New York. So, there are subtleties around them both but again, and I hate that notion of left-handers can’t bowl to left-hand batters so we can dispel that myth and both of those players can hopefully play along.”

Stephen Fleming also talked about the opening pair and playing 11 combinations of the Indian team in the World Cup, saying, “They had to make some hard calls while Jaiswal was a great player, that’s leaving out top quality players is always difficult, and having a plan and you stay to it when you’ve got great players sitting on the sidelines is always very difficult because it’s tempting to keep looking where the grass is greener, but I like the job they’ve done, they’ve got through.

“This is a team that in some ways is picked for the finals in my view, it’s a team that has spinners that can dominate, it has players that can dominate spin and we’ve seen spin in the West Indies play quite a big part, not so much in New York. So, I think they’ve got the job done and they’ve got quite smartly a view of mind, this is how we want to play the key games now going into hopefully the semi-finals and final. If you work backwards and say this is the team, I want for the final because these are the conditions I think and then work backwards, then this looks some way what Rahul and the boys have done. They’ve picked a team that they think may be playing a turning track, this will give us our best chance at the top and has good balance and we’ve seen that sort of in stops and starts and it’s just been because of conditions but I think they’re in good shape.”

The CSK coach Stephen Fleming believed India would not face any vulnerability ahead in the World Cup. He said, “Not really and neither there should because there’s so much talent really to pick from. The vulnerability would have come from New York where the ball is going to seam around and from the pace bowling point of view you have a little bit of uneven bounce but they dealt with that quite well.”

“The last game was I thought very mature the way they chased down the title, so they got through that and I would expect if conditions are playing in some of the key venues like we expect them to do then they should have all bases covered and I thought the danger period was really New York where we had no idea how it was going to play and then dealing with the challenges that were there they did that quite well. So I would expect this side and the talent they’ve got to get a little bit stronger.”

(With Inputs From Press Release)

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