Pacer Umesh Yadav might be available for selection after having cleared the fitness test ahead of the pink-ball Test against England at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad but according to former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, India should persist with the trio of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Umesh Yadav missed out on the last two Test matches in Australia and the first two Tests of the ongoing series against England due to a groin injury he picked up while bowling in the second innings of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Umesh might have struggled to deliver in overseas conditions but his record with the SG ball in home conditions has been as good as any other Indian bowler.
Since making his debut against the West Indies in late 2011, Umesh Yadav has played 28 home Tests in which he has claimed as many as 96 wickets- the third-most by an Indian bowler after the spin-duo of Ashwin and Jadeja and the most by any pacer- at an unbelievable strike-rate of 45.7.
His performance at home since January 2018 has been ever more astounding. In 14 innings (7 Tests), the Vidarbha Express has claimed 38 wickets at an average of 13.86 and a strike-rate of 24.3- the best among all bowlers- with one ten-wicket haul and two five-fors.
With such an impeccable home record, Umesh Yadav should walk into the playing 11 for the day-night Test against England, isn’t it? Gautam Gambhir differs from that viewpoint.
According to the former opener, he doesn’t see Umesh Yadav break into the playing 11 for the third Test. Gambhir has reckoned that Mohammed Siraj looked in a pretty good rhythm on what was a benign surface for seamers in the second Test and India should persist with him for the upcoming Test.
“I don’t see Umesh Yadav in the playing XI. If India has to go with three seamers, it has to be Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj. Siraj looks very impressive and the way he bowled in Australia, even the way he bowled in the second Test match, there was nothing for the fast bowlers but the way he was getting the ball to move and the kind of speeds he was clocking, he was very impressive. So, these three seamers according to me will play the pink-ball Test match,” said Gautam Gambhir on Star Sports.
For the uninitiated, Umesh Yadav was the leading wicket-taker in the only pink ball Test that India has played on home soil. That game was against Bangladesh in November 2019 where Yadav returned with figures of 3/29 and 5/53.