CB Series 2011-12 February 13, 2012

'Umesh is the find of the tour' - Gambhir


Gautam Gambhir has termed Umesh Yadav the find of the tour, and India's possible answer to the fast bowlers who have tormented their batsmen for long. He said it was time people stopped saying India can't produce fast bowlers. However, Gambhir's optimism about Yadav doesn't quite reconcile with the team management's. Before Yadav played the game against Australia on February 12, he had last bowled in a competitive environment on January 27.

When he got a limited-overs game, though, Yadav bowled 10 overs for just 49, bowling inside Powerplays and at the death, removing two dangerous-looking batsmen, Michael Clarke and Peter Forrest. "Umesh for me is the find of the tour," Gambhir said. "Someone who can bowl 150 consistently. It's time we can give back to the opposition what we have been receiving for years and years.

"Someone who can hit the deck hard and bowl 150 consistently can rattle any batsman in the world, even the greats … 150 coming at you is always tough to face. Especially in the middle overs. The way he bowled for those two crucial wickets were fantastic. More than the wickets, 149-150 consistently is a great find, and hopefully we can try and develop him as a matchwinner for us. Still early days, hopefully he can go on for a long time, and try and take lots and lots of wickets."

When asked where Yadav had been all this while - on tour but not being played - Gambhir didn't quite have a concrete response. In both the Twenty20s, India went with two specialist spinners to go with a group of part-time spinners. They did the same in the first one-dayer. Then Zaheer Khan recovered from his knee niggle, and was back as the third quick.

There was an apparent lack of confidence in Yadav until the game against Australia. It could have had to do with his lack of control in Tests where he strayed onto the legs often and conceded runs at 4.66 per over, which took his series average to 39.35 despite a decent strike-rate of a wicket every 50.5 balls, the best among the Indian bowlers in the series.

"There has always been a rotation policy," Gambhir said. "PK [Praveen Kumar] bowled well when he last came to Australia, and with two new balls he could have done well. But then Umesh, as we have seen, against Australia, on such a flat track, bowling that well, hopefully now he should play a lot more games."

Gambhir went on to rave about Yadav some more. "Someone who can bowl 150 is great for Indian cricket because we have been missing this for years and years. We talk a lot about our fast bowlers that they are not as quick, but someone like Umesh, I think, he is fantastic for us. Now people should stop talking we can't produce fast bowlers. He can clock 150 with semi-new ball, we have developed one."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Prakash on February 14, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    I feel its BCCI who is to be blamed for not production of quality fast bowlers in a country like India. You just can't blame conditions as if weather were to play greater role or the altitude, The Australia also have a pretty hot summer and matches here are also not played on mountain tops.Its the amount of grass on the pitch which provides ample assistance to the fast bowlers. India has traditionally been known for spinners but then you can't always bank on the older values. Change is inevitable, MRF pace academy should be shifted to somewhere like Mohali or even may be Dharmashala, Young talents should be detected early and enough care should be taken of them. A generation may be, but in years to come I am pretty sure India will produce some quality world standard pacers. Another tryout wud be sending some of them to play in English County(eg. Zaheer),Even domestic teams should be encouraged to play genuine pacers (imply such pitches so that they are forced to).

  • Prakash on February 14, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    I don't agree much with Gambhir on this. Yadav has raw pace and can be a good wicket taking bowler but what you need to understand that even if you deliver four good deliveries, one half volley or short outside the off stump is like gifting the batsman with the most delicious of the cakes and they will capitalize on that.He needs to generate some swing especially if the condition permits.He has been very expensive specially in Sydney and Adelaide tests.He did bowl well at Melbourne and Perth coz the pitches supported extra bounce and was better bowling wickets for the pace bowlers compared to other two.Ishant and yadav are definitely the better bowlers in the Indian team at the moment but they are like just above average when you look at others.Zaheer is getting old and someone needs to take his place in terms of lethality and deceptiveness I feel yadav should be allowed to do what he wants to do and someone like Ishant should take more responsibility.God knows if that will ever happen

  • Tahir on February 14, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    It is too early mate. He has not been any economical going for around 6 runs an over. He has speed but not economical

  • Anit on February 14, 2012, 2:46 GMT

    India can use rotation for aging and non-performer groups. The top order rotation takes care of aging part. The middle order rotation between Raina, Sharma and Tiwari can provide opportunities to Tiwari to show his mantle and rotation in bowling can give chance to Irfan Pathan. Some people calling for Jadeja's head should look at his performance on the field. He is by far the best fielder who can bowl and bat. He easily saves 15-20 runs on the field. The real non-performers India is persisting with is Lord Shewag, Raina and Rohit Sharma.

  • Anindya on February 14, 2012, 1:41 GMT

    why is gambhir talking so much?

  • Easwara on February 14, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    every says dropping Riana, am not a fan of Raian. I like Zak, and Irfan but Raina saves a lot of runs I think almost 15-20 runs. If u look at SA, Rohdes didnt bat well for a long time he was in playing 11 because of fielding only because they are worth to be in teh team to save several crucial runs and also taking tough catches. dropping one catch cud lead to a huge total that is how I look at it. any ways hope Dhoni atleast can take Irfan in place of somebody may be Zak is theonly option to replace I guess. we need to give him more chances to gain his confidence so he will be a getter option during our next world cup. lets see what happens, I wud say drop one of Gauti or Tendulkar and play Irfan...

  • saurav on February 13, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    its not about why dhoni not playing irfan pathan.If the present bowlers are doing good so why there a need to change the combination.Vinay kumar bowled well,yadav also bowled fast and troubled the batsmen .The irfan is not in the standards of replacing zaheer or praveen..And irfan repalcing ravindra , ravindra is far better batsmen than irfan.Any bowler can have a bad day. And i think its time for manoj tiwari to gear up bcoz if rohit plays this way, though he is much more talented and got technique he is useless in overseas and against stroung opposition.So gud luck india for the next match .

  • rahul on February 13, 2012, 21:45 GMT


  • Shiv on February 13, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    I hear a lot of people saying that Ishant is a 145+ bowler. Pls guys, he was once upon a time, rite now he is nothing more than 130+. As someone here on cricinfo rightly put it, Ishant is a blowling machine without a brain. We had enough of him. Umesh looks good (fingers crossed), but his test will be in our Indian conditions, if he can bowl regularly close to 150. Importantly, he needs to stay away from our stupid bowling coaches who do nothing but kill the speed and talent of our boys.

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    gambir is right umesh is a good find, and i think we finally found somone, who can replace the great zaheer khan, who has been the best bowler for india over the last decade, but umesh alone can't do it, india seriously need to brirng irfan pathan in. he is a very modest player, and if you make him wait any longer, then frustration will build up vinay kumar, can be given a break this game, or jadeja, cause irfan can bat just as well.

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