Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif has backed Umesh Yadav to be India’s third pacer in the upcoming first-Test against Australia. The much-anticipated Border-Gavaskar Test series gets underway on December 17 with the historic pink-ball Test at Adelaide Oval.
It will be the first-ever day-night Test between the two countries. Coming to India’s pace department, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are set to lead the pace attack. The team-management will have to pick one from Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj as the third pacer.
In normal circumstances, Ishant Sharma would have been the other pacer but he is out of the series due to an injury. In such a scenario, Mohammad Kaif believes Umesh Yadav should be India’s pick as the third pacer. Kaif pointed out that the right-arm pacer has vast experience and has played Test cricket on Australian soil as well.
“For me, it will be Umesh Yadav because Ishant Sharma is not there who had played an important role when India won the series last time. He had gelled very well with Shami and Bumrah, the three fast bowlers plus Ashwin plus Vihari part-time off-spin. Ishant Sharma was bowling with the new ball,” Kaif said while speaking on Sony Sports network.
Kaif pointed out that Umesh Yadav can be an able substitute for Ishant Sharma. The former cricketer also admitted that while the pacer has been wayward on occasion, he was quick to point out that his experience will hold him in good stead.
“Umesh did well in the practice match. So, he can be a good replacement. He has been erratic at times but he has played 45-46 Test matches. He has the experience and has toured Australia previously,” said Kaif.
“He has the build, he is known for his fitness, he can bowl the long spells as well and will not get injured or unfit. That is also a plus point with him. So, according to me India should go with Mohammed Shami, Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Ashwin in the first Test match,” he added.
Talking about Umesh Yadav’s Test career, he has picked up 144 wickets in the 46 Test matches so far. As far as his performance in Australia is concerned, he has picked up 27 wickets in 8 Tests.