Former Indian Test specialist VVS Laxman has raised an eyebrow at the Indian management for omitting Umesh Yadav for the fourth Test against England in Ahmedabad. With Jasprit Bumrh ruled out of the final match, there was a toss-up between Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj. Though VVS Laxman lauded the latter for doing well since his debut, he feels Umesh Yadav was unfortunate to miss out.
Umesh Yadav last played a Test match during India’s tour of Australia in Melbourne when it emerged that an injury had forced him out. The 32-year old has been amongst the senior Indian bowlers, debuting in 2011 and formed an impressive partnership with Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami in home Tests. 2019 was arguably his best year as he took 23 scalps at 13.65, while his career wickets amount to 148 in 48 matches at 30.55.
VVS Laxman understands that Mohammed Siraj has done well; however, he reminded that Umesh Yadav has been amongst the best bowlers in India alongside Mohammed Shami. Simultaneously, the 46-year old understands the team management’s mindset as they prefer Umesh playing a first-class fixture after recovering from injury before coming back to Test cricket.
“Mohammed Siraj has bowled well but I just feel for him (Umesh Yadav) because I think he has been the pick of the bowlers along with Mohammed Shami in Indian conditions. But I can understand the thought process of the Indian team management because after recovering, especially if you’re a fast bowler, you want to play at least one First-Class before coming and playing a Test match,” Laxman said as quoted by Hindustan Times.
Mohammed Siraj is also good with the old ball when it starts reversing: VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman also noted that with the Indian conditions demanding only two fast bowlers, they do not want Umesh Yadav to break down. Laxman further said that Mohammed Siraj is effective not only with the new ball but also old once it starts producing reverse-swing. Speaking of Siraj, he dismissed Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in the final Test as England folded for 205 in the first innings after choosing to bat first.
“You’re going only with two fast bowlers you don’t want him to break down during the Test. Siraj on the other hand is not only someone who can swing the new ball but he can come back and is very good with the old ball once it starts reversing,” he added.