In the first game of the series last week in Chattogram against Bangladesh, Kuldeep Yadav produced an incredible game-winning performance. In addition to finishing with eight wickets, including a record five in his maiden Test match in 22 months, he also played a courageous 40-ball innings in India’s 188-run victory. However, Kuldeep was benched for the second Test at Mirpur by India skipper KL Rahul, shocking analysts and supporters alike. Rahul disclosed the rationale for his decision after the victory.

After the Chattogram Test, it was not anticipated that India would alter their winning lineup. Rahul confirmed after the toss that fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat, who was playing in his first Test match for India in 12 years and hadn’t played since the 2010 Centurion Test against South Africa, had replaced Kuldeep in the starting lineup.

The spinners had a lot of help, notably in the second innings when they took up 12 of the seven wickets. Veteran cricketers and commentators sharply criticized the choice of Kuldeep.

Speaking to the media after the Mirpur game, Rahul acknowledged that Kuldeep was missed in the second innings but said that the decision was made after they evaluated the surface on Day 1 and determined that it was favorable for both fast and spin bowlers.

“If the impact player rule from the IPL had been applied to Test matches as well, I would have brought Kuldeep Yadav back in the second innings without a doubt. Given that he had won the game against Bangladesh in the last encounter, the decision was difficult. The Man of the Match was him. However, our first impression of the pitch was that fast bowlers and spinners would both benefit from it, therefore we sought to have the most evenly matched side possible. We made that choice, and I’m not sorry about it. Observe how many wickets the quick bowlers claimed. There was a lot of erratic bounce and assistance for the quick bowlers. And we made this choice based on our previous one-day experience playing,” he said.