Umesh Yadav: ‘It was a flat wicket with no swing’

An untimely injury to Shardul Thakur saw the experienced Yadav complete his quota of overs on day one of the second Test against Windies.

Umesh Yadav in action against Windies in Hyderabad on Friday.   -  AP

 

Umesh Yadav hasn't been a regular feature in India's Test squad this year, having played in only three so far.

On Friday, with an untimely injury to Shardul Thakur limiting captain Virat Kohli's options in the bowling department, Yadav took three for 83, getting rid of Shai Hope, Windies captain Jason Holder and wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich.

On a pitch that had little to offer in terms of pace and bounce, Yadav bowled with intent and remained positive.

"It was a very flat wicket with no swing or reverse swing for that matter. You can't contain the batsmen on a pitch like this, they'll keep taking the odd ones and twos. So I was bowling with the aim of picking wickets," Yadav said after the end of first day's play in the second Test between India and Windies here.

Asked how he, being the lone seamer in the playing XI, coped with Shardul's absence, Yadav said, "I think with Shardul around, the spinners could have got some assistance. If I managed to pick up three, a wicket or two from his side could've reduced the burden on the spinners. That said, you can't really do much in a situation like this.

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"I knew I had to make up for his quota of overs and that's what I did. I tried to remain focused and did my job."

India's bowlers have historically struggled against lower-order batsmen, and that came to the fore again in Hyderabad. India had Windies on the back foot at 113/5 but a 69-run partnership between Roston Chase and Dowrich revived the visitor. As it turned out, Windies, later propelled by a century stand between Chase and Holder, finished the day at 295/7.

Yadav attributed India's struggles, to get the lower-order batsmen out cheaply, to the docile nature of the surface.

“When you are bowling on a pitch like this, where there is very little scope to experiment, you start getting predictable.

“The batsmen know the ball isn't quite taking off from the pitch, so it's much easier for them to negotiate the attack. The SG ball, I believe, gets old after 20 overs. The softness of the ball, too, plays its part.”