Kolkata, Sep 16 (IANS) On the eve of India’s much-awaited One-Day International (ODI) series against Australia, Indian spin great Erapalli Prasanna predicted chinaman Kuldeep Yadav would make the difference in the five-match rubber.

“All depends on Kuldeep and how he bowls in his 10 overs. I think Kuldeep, with his wrist spin, can make the difference and it is his overs which will be the key,” off-spinner Prasanna told IANS on Saturday.

In the absence of the rested Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep is expected to lead the spin bowling line-up along with Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel.

“I don’t know about Australia’s spinning options. I haven’t seen enough of them. But for India the role of Kuldeep is vital. Also the role of the third seamer, which may be Hardik Pandya,” said the 77-year-old, who has taken 189 wickets in 49 Tests between 1962 and 1978.

“India’s batting is very strong. They need not be talked about. With the likes of Rohit and Virat in form, batting looks good,” Prasanna said.

Asked to comment on Virender Sehwag statement that he could not become India’s coach because he did not have a “setting” with the mandarins who call the shots, Prasanna said: “That’s the name of the game, isn’t it?

“It is unfortunate that people are trying to protect their case.”

Sehwag said current coach Ravi Shastri had told him during the ICC Champions Trophy that he would not apply for the role, but then was the chosen one.

The dashing former India opener added that he would never have applied had he known Shastri would be in the fray.

“I feel Ravi Shastri was not confident of his capabilities,” Prasanna opined.

“Then from what I am reading, why would he want to back out? I don’t mind an off-spinner bowling with me if I am confident of my skill,” the former Karnataka captain, who was a member of India’s famous spin quartet, alongside Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Bishen Singh Bedi, signed off.

(Debayan Mukherjee can be contacted at debayan.m@ians.in)

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.