Fast bowler Umesh Yadav believes that the current competition among the Indian pacers to seal a spot in the playing XI augurs well for the team and helps all the players to improve individually.
Umesh, who had a brilliant domestic season in 2016-17, hasn’t had much of an opportunity to play as he would have hoped for because of the consistency found by Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Also, with Jasprit Bumrah coming up the ranks in Test cricket, the Indian pace attack has become a highly competitive space to be in.
The Vidarbha pacer, who has been an integral part of India’s Test setup for more than four years now, has not played for India since last eight months. During the historic Australian tour which India won 2-1, Umesh had warmed benches for majority of that tour.
“When you know that you’re going to be playing back-to-back Test matches, you also need that kind of a bench strength,” he told reporters.
“All the fast bowlers know there is a good competition and that everyone is going to get an opportunity. Whoever does well, will get to play more. If we think in that manner, it’s good for us because we will try to improve ourselves,” he added.
He revealed that after this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) where he played with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), he went back to his coach Subroto Banerjee at the academy in Vidarbha to work on his bowling.
“I gave myself some time to work on my errors and get my rhythm back,” Umesh said. “I worked on my lengths. It happens with fast bowlers, when you are playing in different countries. You’re unable to settle to a specific length. I worked on that.
“There are times when everything is going good but your mind is distracted thinking that things are not going the way you want it to be going. To get away and think, that space of mind is important. I did the same. I went home, spoke to my coach, cleared my thoughts and got clarity.
“You need an off-time because it is only during your off-time that you can re-channelise your mindset. I worked with my coach and asked him for his opinion. He was very positive and that’s what you want.
“When you get that positivity, you’re confident that you’re getting better. I even spoke to the batsmen and the support staff (in the Indian team), and they also said that ‘whatever you’ve been doing, it seems to be working’,” he added.
Umesh showed signs of form in the lone three-day practice game against West Indies A and returned with figures of 3/19 in the first innings.
He admitted the performance boosted his confidence and he is ready to go. “I bowled the kind of deliveries I wanted to. I focused on the areas that I wanted to bowl, and I managed to bowl there."
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