Skipper Virat Kohli Friday hailed Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal as the world’s “strongest spin bowling partnership”, underlining that the duo are central to India’s plans for the World Cup.
The lavish praise comes ahead of the five match one-day series against Australia which will be the final opportunity for the world number two side to get their combinations right and firm up their favourites’ tag.
“It’s all about combinations but I don’t see one ahead of the other in the pecking order. Both of them together are the strongest spin bowling partnership in the world at the moment,” Kohli said ahead of the first Australia ODI in Hyderabad on Saturday.
“Our success in the last couple of years is mainly because of these two guys in the team and their impact in the middle overs and their ability to pick up wickets for us.
“If the combination needs to be changed it will be purely on which bowler is stacked up better against opposition batsmen.”
Chahal has claimed 71 wickets with his leg spin in 40 ODI games since making his debut in 2016.
Left-arm wrist spinner Yadav has taken 77 scalps in 39 matches.
Kohli said the team’s think-tank will not be swayed by the performances in the Indian Premier League when they finalise the squad for the 50-over World Cup starting May 30 in England and Wales.
The IPL will begin on March 23 as top players from India and around the world will converge for the glitzy T20 tournament.
“Before we head into the IPL, we need to be absolutely clear of what team we want for the World Cup. I don’t see anything changing on how the IPL goes for any of the players,” said Kohli.
“If one or two players do not have a good IPL season, it doesn’t mean that they are out of the picture for the World Cup. Those things are not going to matter.”