Former India cricketer, Gautam Gambhir was utterly surprised when Umesh Yadav was sold for just Rs. 1 crore in the IPL 2021 Auction, while other less experienced overseas bowlers bagged a much heftier amount.
Delhi Capitals acquired the services of Yadav for his base price after he was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore after a three-year stint with Virat Kohli’s side.
Yadav didn’t have anything to show in the wickets column in a couple of games he played last season and leaked runs at 11.86 per over; he was dropped in favour of youngsters Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj in the initial phase and wasn’t picked again.
Umesh is a great buy for Delhi Capitals: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir believes that someone with the experience and ability – albeit mercurial – of Umesh Yadav should have gone for much more. The right-arm pacer has been a regular feature in the IPL since 2009; he played his first five for the Delhi franchise (then Daredevils), then four seasons for Kolkata Knight Riders under Gautam Gambhir, followed by three years under Kohli.
The former KKR skipper admits that Yadav can sometimes blow ‘little hot and cold’ but when he is at his best, he can dismiss even the best of the batsmen – as seen in the 2018 IPL where he was phenomenal with the new ball in the powerplay.
“I was absolutely shocked when he(Umesh Yadav) went for ₹1 crore, there are not many fast bowlers who can bowl 135-140. Yes, he can be a little hot and cold, but when he is hot he can be very hot, but then not many teams went for him,”Gautam Gambhir told Star Sports.
The 39-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator opines that bagging Yadav for such a low price was a steal for the Capitals. He points out that Umesh would be a perfect back-up for Ishant Sharma, who is prone to injuries as happened in the previous season; Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are likely to miss more than a week of the IPL owing to South Africa’s home matches against Pakistan, hence, Yadav is a good replacement for them as well.
“It was a great buy for Delhi because Delhi wanted someone like Umesh Yadav with that kind of an experience because Ishant Sharma is not fit, they had to bowl someone like Tushar Deshpande, where there was not enough experience. Now they have got Umesh Yadav, so hopefully, he can do well for them,” the two-time IPL winning skipper added.