Umesh Yadav in the last 12 months has shown tremendous potential and ability to excel as a genuine fast bowler. The Indian pacer had a fantastic 2015 World Cup as he ended the tournament as India’s leading wicket taker. Yadav, off late found great appreciation in the form of Dale Steyn, Glenn McGrath and Andy Roberts. Several greats of the game praise Yadav mainly because of the raw pace which he generates from his brawny shoulders.
Yadav himself admits that it is his pace which makes him a lethal weapon. In a recent interview, the erratic pacer spoke about his bowling. “As a genuine fast bowler, the margin of error is very less for us. It’s not easy for a fast bowler to bowl consistently in one area. It’s easier for a medium pacer to maintain line length at 130-135 km/hr. Many times boundaries go because of the pace at which I bowl. At times, I try different things and when that doesn’t work, it costs me a few runs. Everyone is different. I can’t bowl like Mustafizur Rahman and he can’t bowl like me. My release point is different from that of a medium pacer’s, If I change that, I will mess up with my bowling. I am in this team because of my pace. I have taken wickets at the international level with pace,” Yadav said during a function.
When asked about India’s defeat to Bangladesh in the recent ODI series, Yadav didn’t give a detailed answer. “It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for the defeat. We were playing continuously for the last 8-10 months so may be fatigue was an issue. Obviously we could have done a lot better. Having said that, Bangladesh played some good aggressive cricket. The pressure was definitely on us. They had nothing to lose. Mustafizur bowled well in the first two matches. We had never seen him before – how he uses the slow ball, how he uses those cutters. After the first two matches we got to know about his strengths and played him well in the last match. Unfortunately, the series was over by then,” he said.
The Vidharbha pacer also spoke about his role as the seamer for India A. Yadav has been rested for the team’s Zimbabwe tour and has rather been selected for India A to take on Australia A. “Yes, I would have a bit of rest as I am playing continuous cricket for last eight months. However, the selectors feel I need to bowl before the Sri Lanka series. They must have thought something about me and Varun (Aaron). May be they thought we must have match practice before the Sri Lanka series. So I am prepared for that. I will try to utilize this short break to refresh myself and then be ready for the India ‘A’ assignment,” said Yadav.
Yadav also opened up about India’s 2015 World Cup campaign. “When I started my cricket, I had a dream to be part of a World Cup team. I wasn’t a regular in the team before the West Indies and Sri Lanka series. However, I had that confidence and attitude that I could be part of the team. When I got the chance for West Indies series, I grabbed it with both hands and showed what I can do for the team. Only thing in my mind was to contribute in winning causes. I am glad I did that whenever the captain threw the ball to me,” he said.
“Not many thought Team India would make it to the semifinals as they had lost the triangular series, which followed the Test series. “We were bit tired during the triangular series after the long Test series. So we didn’t perform as well as we would’ve liked. But yes, it gave us a good opportunity to assess ourselves and what we needed to do in the World Cup. For instance, mid-wicket and deep square-legboundaries were quite long in Australia and it wasn’t easy to clear them if you hurry the batsmen and use short deliveries properly. We did exactly that. Before the tournament, nobody expected the Indian bowlers to perform that well but we knew what we were capable of. To bounce out the opposition was brilliant,” Yadav said.