India's left-arm Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav’s legion of supporters has been increasing after his exploits in the limited-over series during the ongoing England tour. The latest to back the youngster is former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who wants him to play in the Tests against England ahead of Ravindra Jadeja.

Kuldeep, since making his international debut in March last year in the fourth Test against Australia in Dharamsala, has bamboozled batsmen the world over. He had been top class in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well. In the recently concluded T20I and ODI series against England, the 23-year-old thoroughly troubled the hosts’ batsmen with his bag of tricks

His exploits with the white ball earned him a recall to the five-day squad against Afghanistan last month, and he has now been retained in the squad for the Test series against England. His journey in the longer version of the game, which started last year, hit a roadblock after just two matches. Now, it is likely to resume and he is being seen as poised to find a place in the starting line-up.

Many former cricketers and experts have called for Kuldeep’s inclusion in the Test XI against England. On Sunday, Azharuddin too joined the chorus.

"He (Kuldeep) is performing, so he should be picked and the England side is struggling (against) him. (Ravichandran) Ashwin and Yadav should play. I don't think Jadeja will make the cut," the former Indian skipper told PTI.

Azharuddin felt three fast bowlers and two spinners is the combination which Virat Kohli and the team management should choose against England.

"If it's a green pitch then they may go with 4-1, but I think 3-2 will be a better combination if you want to win. Because, later the pitches will get dry. It will be hot and the pitches would offer turn especially on the last two days," Azharuddin, who played 99 Tests for India, said.

The Hyderabadi chose Kohli’s men as favourites for the five-match series.

“England will find it very difficult to dislodge India because they don't have a good bowling attack. We have a very strong side. There are only two (good) bowlers - (James) Anderson and (Stuart) Broad, but they are injury-prone and in the twilight of their careers," the 55-year-old said.

"The only chance England will have is, if they give green tops, but if they give green tops they will also struggle, because we also have very good swing bowlers," Azharuddin added.

(With PTI inputs)