Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Umesh Yadav, the veteran Indian pacer who last played a T20I match for India in February 2019 against Australia, joined the Indian squad in Chandigarh on Sunday morning after reportedly being named as a replacement for COVID-19 positive Mohammed Shami in the Indian team for the upcoming three-match T20I series against defending 2021 T20I World Cup winners Australia.

The first T20I between India and Australia is scheduled to take place at PCA Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday, September 20. The 34-year-old Vidarbha pacer last played a T20I match for India against Australia on February 24, 2019. If he is selected in the playing XI for the upcoming matches, then it will be the first time in 43 months that he will play a T20I game for the Men in Blue.

Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav joined the Indian team in Chandigarh on Sunday. Photo: ANI

Umesh Yadav Was Included In The Indian Side To Face Australia In Place Of Covid-19 Positive Mohammed Shami

The right-arm fast bowler Umesh Yadav’s inclusion hasn’t been officially declared yet, but, he was included in the side after Mohammed Shami was sidelined, and immediately after getting a call-up to play for India, Umesh Yadav packed his bag and left to join the side.

Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami (Facebook)

He landed at Chandigarh airport at 7 a.m. on Sunday, and from there he headed straight to the hotel to join the rest of the Indian squad. The manner in which he has been drafted to the side suggests that he could be in line to feature for India in the first T20I.

It was puzzling that the pacer Mohammed Shami was selected for the T20Is against Australia and South Africa, but was only among the reserves in the 2022 T20I World Cup squad. Now, an untimely positive Covid-19 test has ruled him out of the Australia T20Is. Mohammed Shami has picked 18 scalps in 17 T20Is with the last outing coming in the 2021 T20I World Cup against Namibia.

Notably, Mohammed Shami was the leading wicket-taker for Gujarat Titans (GT) in their title-winning campaign earlier this year. He bagged 20 wickets from 16 games and had a decent economy rate of 8.00 in the latest edition of the cash-rich league.

Umesh Yadav Has Played 7 T20Is But Had An Impressive IPL 2022 For Kolkata Knight Riders

Umesh Yadav has played 7 T20Is for India to date in his 10-year-old T20I career. He made his T20I debut for India against Sri Lanka in Pallekele on August 7, 2012, and played his last game against Australia on February 24, 2019, in Visakhapatnam. In his seven matches for India in the shortest format of the game, Umesh Yadav has dismissed nine batters.
Umesh Yadav playing for Kolkata Knight Riders In IPL 2022
Umesh Yadav playing for Kolkata Knight Riders In IPL 2022 © BCCI/IPL
Even though he has not played for India in T20Is for a long time now, Umesh Yadav has been in good touch in white-ball cricket.
He was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders team in the IPL 2022 earlier this year, where he picked up 16 wickets for the Shreyas Iyer-led side in 12 games averaging 21.19 including career-best figures of 4/23. His economy rate was also very impressive during the entire season as it was just a little more than 7.