Team India speedster Umesh Yadav is in good stead after having an impressive Indian Premier League (IPL) season while representing Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Umesh bowled with such venom and troubled quite a few top order batsmen. However, he wasn’t as effective in the death overs. With the long international season coming up, his form will be crucial to India’s chances.
However getting into the playing XI won’t be pretty easy for him. Umesh was left out of all the matches during India’s tour of South Africa earlier this year.
Moreover, Umesh revealed that it was the advice of Ashish Nehra to keep the focus on “single stump training” and it has paid rich dividends.
“We all know the depth of Ashish Nehra’s (RCB bowling coach) knowledge when it comes to fast bowling. During this year’s IPL, I was able to spend quality time with Ashish paaji. He has given me a lot of technical suggestions during the course of the tournament. Even during IPL, I would pick his brains about the red ball season ahead,” PTI quotes Umesh after the conclusion of the 11th edition of the tournament.
“Ashish paaji told me that during the spare time after IPL, I should do single stump bowling to increase my accuracy and consistency. I was told to practise ‘single wicket bowling’ with both SG Test and Dukes keeping in mind the season ahead. His (Nehra) tip is to put one off-stump and maintain the channel,” the fast bowler added.
The advice given to Umesh by Nehra isn’t much surprising. Even during his playing days, Nehra used to practice while aiming at a single stump. He used to carry out his single wicket training at the Siri Fort or Sonnet Club nets at the Venky’s College.
“Since outswinger is my stock delivery, I am trying to land it as close as possible to the off-stump. Nehra tells me that the length that any pacer has to hit with the new ball is same for all kind of tracks (India or foreign). The key to consistency is uncluttered mind. The moment you try too many things, you can mess up. Single stump means that I am only bowling one channel,” said Umesh.
There was no doubt about the fact that Nehra had an immense influence on Umesh. It was quite evident when Umesh spoke about the game against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) when he got the wickets of Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch and Yuvraj Singh in a single over.
The bowler revealed how Yuvraj failed to get his bat down on time. He was castled by a splendid delivery from Umesh. The latter also recalled the plans which went into the delivery.
“Normally, when I bowl to the left-handers, I used to straightaway come round the wicket. An element of predictability was creeping into my bowling, where the left-handers were expecting incoming deliveries. That’s why I came over the wicket to Yuvi paaji and bowled a couple of outgoing deliveries. I was really happy that I could generate that kind of pace,” Umesh said.
Despite bowling the inswinging deliveries, he just wants to keep it as a surprise weapon.
“I have realised one thing. Even if you are not consistently bowling inswingers but if you can straighten the deliveries, nothing like it. If I can get the deliveries to straighten after pitching, it can even trouble the best of batsmen,” Umesh remarked.
Unmesh bagged 20 wickets in 14 matches in the tournament. It was the best IPL for Umesh in his career.
Even in a group game against Mumbai Indians (MI), Umesh began with two sensational deliveries which breached the defence of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan in the first two deliveries of the innings.
“Any performer is happy when he successfully executes his plans. I am really happy with my performance in the IPL. It was unfortunate that we could not make it to the playoffs but it was one of my best IPL seasons. Virat had one clear instruction for me. Go for the kill. He told me ‘get me the wickets and do not bother about getting hit’. I did as my skipper told me.
Umesh Yadav is not bothered by his selection:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have emerged as the leaders of the bowling pack. But Umesh is not really bothered with this fact. He calls it a “headache of the team management”.
“We are five pacers — Bhuvi, Bumrah, Shami, Ishant and myself. So it’s a happy headache for the team management — the coach and the captain to pick the best amongst us. I am personally in a very good head space after IPL. My job is to be ready and captain and the head coach have their job,” he asserted.
“We are a close-knit group and even when Bhuvi or Jassi do well, I am proud of their achievements. My job is to be battle ready for the season ahead and I am doing just that,” Yadav signed off.