Ahead of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals, defending champion Vidarbha received a major boost as pace ace, Umesh Yadav, has made himself available for the last-eight stage clash against Uttarakhand.
"He (Umesh) will play the quarterfinals. It will bolster our bowling unit," Vidarbha coach Chandrakant Pandit told Sportstar .
Umesh missed out on the league stage of the tournament this year as he travelled to Australia with the Indian team.
While India clinched the Test series 2-1, Umesh did not have an outing to remember. He featured only in the second Test in Perth, where India lost, and could only scalp a couple of wickets.
But back from Down Under, Umesh confirmed to the Vidarbha Cricket Association that he will be available for the knockouts.
Not just Umesh, Vidarbha's bowling mainstay, Rajneesh Gurbani, is also set to return for the game against Uttarakhand, which will be played at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur from January 15.
Gurbani had suffered an injury during the team's match against Mumbai earlier this month. But now that he has recovered, Vidarbha captain, Faiz Fazal, is also excited. "With Umesh and Gurbani set to play the quarterfinals, our bowling department will be stronger now. We have played some cricket and our target will be to keep the momentum going," Fazal said.
Though Uttarakhand will be a relatively weaker side, Fazal is cautious. "It is true that it is a young side and is relatively weaker (as compared to elite teams), but they have some really good cricketers who can turn things around. We will have to play our natural game," the Vidarbha captain said.
While Uttarakhand will be missing it's captain Rajat Bhatia for the quarterfinals, Vidarbha doesn't have any pull outs or injury concerns. "All the players are fit and are raring to go," Fazal said.