Umesh Yadav

Umesh Yadav believes pace and swing are key elements of fast bowling © Getty Images

Nov 4, 2013

India pacer, Umesh Yadav is excited to be a part of history as he gears up to play in Sachin Tendulkar’s final series, against the West Indies starting November 6 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Umesh told Times of India, “It feels great to be back in action. I had a good rest after the tour of West Indies and I worked a lot on my fitness. Then, I played two First-Class matches. So my preparations for the series are good. It will be Sachin paaji’s last series so it’s great to be part of history.”

Yadav understands the role of a strike bowler and what his team expects from him. “It’s a responsibility. Your team expects you to get early breakthroughs, break the partnership or make things happen when nothing is going right. Every team today has one or two 145-plus bowlers in their ranks now. If you bowl at that pace you don’t need to bother about the conditions. You need to make the ball swing and also be able to reverse it,” he said.

Talking about injuries, the right-arm pacer said, “Injuries are part and parcel of fast bowler’s life and one should be patient during the rehabilitation. When you get injured, several things cross you mind; whether I should make change in my action; whether I should cut down on my speed. If you are mentally strong, you can always make a better comeback.”

The talented Vidarbha paceman, who took the Englishmen by surprise last year on a flat track at Ahmadabad by bowling with genuine pace, says it is important for a bowler to have both swing and pace.

He said, “Unlike in the past, speed alone doesn’t bother today’s batsmen as they love it when the ball comes on to the bat. However, if you hit the right areas and have swing, it will certainly trouble them. Speed with swing is a lethal combination as batsmen get very little time to adjust to the late movement. It creates confusion in their minds; should I drive or leave it alone? Earlier, I had swing but didn’t have control and that’s what I learned to do after the tour of Zimbabwe in 2010. I worked a lot with Subroto [Bannerjee] Sir how to be effective and not to waste my energy.”

“Even I know I concede too many boundary balls sometimes. But you have to understand fast bowling isn’t easy and I always go for wickets. Sometimes the ball doesn’t swing and drifts down the leg side; sometimes your action isn’t synchronized; sometimes your body doesn’t get into the rhythm. However, I will improve only by playing; getting to understand my body and bowling better. There’s nothing better than having match practice. You get used to that pressure when you play more and naturally your confidence level goes up,” he said.

Yadav says that his confidence is high after good performances in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 and the tri-series in the West Indies.

“Champions Trophy was a great experience. All the top teams were competing had there were some really destructive batsmen playing. So, it was a challenge. I am happy that I could contribute to the team’s cause. We also had a successful tri-series in West Indies. My confidence is very high after those two series,” he said.

Yadav, talking about his experience of playing three years of international cricket says, “A lot has changed in the last three years. I am a much better bowler now. When I toured Zimbabwe, I was excited as well as nervous. I desperately wanted to do well. Unfortunately the series didn’t go well for me but I learned from my mistakes. I worked on my shortcomings but cutting down on my pace never struck my mind. Playing domestic cricket helped me and so did touring with India ‘A’.”

Sachin Tendulkar Retirement