There was a big surprise on Day 1 of the Pune Test between India and Australia as Indian team started off with Ishant Sharma on one end and Ravichandran Ashwin bowling from the other end. Finally, when all the weapons of Indian team failed to get a wicket, skipper Virat Kohli handed the ball to the most impressive bowler in this home season till now Umesh Yadav, who did not disappoint and came up with a wicket in the first over he bowled.
The fans questioned the captain’s decision to hold Umesh till last as if Umesh had been brought earlier, then the case would have been different. In the post-match press conference, Sanjay Bangar, the assistant coach of Indian cricket team revealed the reason to hold back Umesh for such 27 long overs and said,
“It’s all part of the plan, wherein you know the instinct or strength that each individual possesses. We know that Ishant (Sharma) has troubled a number of left-handers from the Australian team over the years with his pace and bounce. We wanted to exploit him and give him the first go against left-handers.
“We always knew about the capabilities of Umesh, who can pitch the ball slightly fuller with reverse swing coming very early into the game which we were expecting to happen. That was why he was held back. It was smart thinking by Virat. It helped him remain fresh throughout the day, which made him very incisive in his second and third spells as well,” Bangar added.
Bangar further praised the fast bowling attack of Indian cricket team and termed Indian pace attack as the best crop presently and said,
“We have the quality of fast bowling. Very rarely have you seen Indian bowlers capable of bowling 140+ and hit consistent areas. It’s not only the two who are on show in this game, but even Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) can bowl at 138kmph. (Mohammed) Shami, who is recuperating, hits 140+.
“And some other bowlers are coming up the ladder. So the long-term vision is that the fast bowlers will take up wicket-taking role when they go abroad and the spinners would do the job that the fast bowlers are doing in Indian conditions.”
Indian bowlers, especially Umesh Yadav bowled well on the day 1 but Indian team somewhat let the advantage go off as at one stage, Australian team was struggling to even touch the 210 run mark but till the end, they had crossed the 250 run mark, thanks to half century from Mitchell Starc in the later of the day.
Indian bowlers have to take early wicket right at the start of the day or else if Australia is able to touch the 300 run mark, then it will give visitors the much-needed confidence which will help them on this tour ahead.