Heaping praise on Umesh Yadav for his stunning performance in the second Test against West Indies , India skipper Virat Kohli has said the pacer is very much in the scheme of things to feature in the upcoming series against Australia.
India suffered a big setback in the very first session of the game. They lost debutant Shardul Thakur in just the fourth over of the day after the bowler walked off the field with a groin injury. He did not return to the field for the remainder of the game. With just one pacer in the playing eleven, India faced a herculean task.
However, Umesh Yadav rose to the occasion and tore away West Indies to guide India to a 10-wicket win. The pacer ended the Test with career-best figures to earn the Man of the Match award.
He picked up 6 wickets in the first innings to help India bowl out West Indies for 311. In the second essay, he picked up 4 as India bowled out the visitors for just 127. As a result, the hosts had to chase just 72 runs which they did without breaking any sweat.
In the process, Umesh became the third Indian pacer overall to register a 10-wicket haul in Test matches in India. The other two are Javagal Srinath (13/132 vs Pakistan) and Kapil Dev 11/146 vs Pakistan).
Impressed with his performance, skipper Virat Kohli said that the pacer is in contention to feature on Australia.
“It’s good to have all guys confident and raring to go because four Tests in Australia can be brutal because the ball doesn’t do much like England. You have to come in and run in all day, bowl in the right areas, with pace. So I think from that point of view, Umesh is right up there to be featuring in Australia because he’s got the pace. He’s got the fitness levels to run in all day to pick us wickets at crucial times and he gets good bounce as well,” said Kohli at the end of the game.
For quite some time now, Umesh is competing with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharama, Mohammed Shami, and now Jasprit Bumrah especially when India play overseas Tests. On swinging pitches, the team-management rarely prefers him. The right-arm pacer playing just 4 Tests out of possible 11 makes it very clear. In fact, he did not play a single game in South Africa and got only one during the five-match series in England.
He will be hoping that his latest performance puts him higher in the pecking order. Moreover, the pitches in Australia offer a lot of bounce which might prompt the team-management to pick him up ahead of others.
Kohli, meanwhile, went on to heap praise Umesh.
“Not many people realise but he’s a very very talented bowler. He can bowl you unplayable deliveries every now and then. He’ll bowl a ball which you feel like you couldn’t have done anything else apart from getting out. It’s just that he’s gaining more confidence about his own game, especially in Test cricket, I think he’s come a long way and he understands his bowling really well,” said the skipper.