Former India player Robin Uthappa feels leaving Kuldeep Yadav out of the second Test against Bangladesh after his eight wickets in the opening game does not send the right message to players, and makes them insecure. Uthappa, currently playing for Dubai Capitals in ILT20 in the UAE, believes selection decisions like these are the reason behind India’s dismal performance in ICC tournaments. India has not won a World Cup since the 2011 title triumph by the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side in the 50-over global showpiece.
Uthappa, who was a part of India’s T20 World Cup-winning side in 2007, added that IPL teams like Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, which have made fewer changes to their squad over the years, have been the most successful sides only because of this reason.
“Kuldeep was ‘Player of the Match’ in the first Test against Bangladesh and he was out of the team for the next match; it doesn’t give (send) a good message,” Uthappa, India’s former white-ball specialist, told PTI in an interview.
“Yes, you can explain things to Kuldeep once but this gives (sends) a wrong message to the young players that even after getting the ‘Player of the Match’, your place in the team is not assured,” he added.
Kuldeep took eight wickets in the opening Test at Chattogram but was dropped for the Mirpur Test, replaced by Jaydev Unadkat, who made his India return after 12 years.
Uthappa, who played his last two IPLs for CSK and decided to call it a day at the end of the 2022 season, said the trend of making “constant changes” in the squad was making players feel unsafe.
“I think there is a lack of sense of security among the players in the team. There have been constant changes in the team for a long time, when a player does not feel safe, he always remains with the mindset of saving his place in the team.”
Uthappa, who won the IPL three times, said, “I think it is important to give a sense of security to the players. What we are seeing is, for the last few years, too many changes are going on. And in crucial matches, their performance dips because they are not sure of their place in (the) team for the next match.”
Citing the example of MI and CSK, the two most successful IPL teams having won five and four titles respectively, Uthappa added, “You look at IPL, most of the times such teams have won the titles which have made fewer changes in the playing XI. The success of Chennai (Super Kings) and Mumbai (Indians) also proves this.” Uthappa said he had no regrets about quitting Indian cricket to play in foreign leagues.
“I am thrilled to be playing competitive cricket for the first time in six months. It’s (ILT20) a good tournament. Some of the world’s best players are playing here,” the wicketkeeper-batter said.
“This is the BCCI’s rule (Indian players have to retire from all forms of cricket played in the country and seek a NOC from the BCCI to play abroad). We do not make the rules but we have to follow them. I had to take a decision, so I took the decision to retire (from Indian cricket).”