India news August 24, 2013

Bowling fast is my priority - Umesh

ESPNcricinfo staff
22

Umesh Yadav, the India fast bowler, has said bowling as quick as he can is his priority. He didn't give slowing down his pace a thought, he said, even when he was injured.

"As a fast bowler, I need to have a clear mind about what my priorities are. My strength is to bowl consistently at a good pace and that will always be my aim as long as I play for the national team," Umesh told PTI. "If I have been selected in the Indian team to play across all formats, it is because I have the sheer pace more than anything else."

While he has impressed for the most part in the nine Tests he has played, Umesh has been troubled by a bad back. During the home Tests against England last November, he was the pick of the quicks in the Ahmedabad Test, but was then ruled out of the rest of the series with a stress reaction in his back. He was out of action till the first week of March, and then played the domestic T20 tournament, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and the IPL, where he was one of the only bright sparks in a dismal season for Delhi Daredevils. He was not as effective in the Champions Trophy, though, but will remain a key figure for India as they set out on tours to South Africa and New Zealand in the upcoming season.

Returning from injury was a bit tough physically, Umesh said, but did not change his approach to bowling. "Even when I got injured last season, cutting down on pace never ever crossed my mind. Agreed, when you come back, your body asks you a few questions but you should always stick to doing what you do best."

In an era when things are loaded heavily in favour of the batsmen, Umesh said it is important for bowlers to stick to their strengths. "Tell me what new [variation] can a bowler bring to the table apart from what we have seen so far? Whether it is the back-of-the-hand slower delivery or a change in pace, there's nothing new that the batsmen can't counter. So it's more important that we do any one thing consistently.

"I have a natural outswinger and if I can bowl four to five of them at 140 kmph plus every over, I would be satisfied with my effort."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sultan2007 on August 27, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    I thnk Umesh is a wonderful talent. His future development needs to be through the County system in England. India has neither the pitches nor the coaches to develop him to his true potential - or for that matter access to good physical training and medical attention on an ongoing basis

  • Naresh28 on August 27, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    I think some of the fans should cool down here. Umesh may not be a good talker and hence may not have said what he meant. Its okay for India to have one fast bowler in its ranks. Fast by India standards. I feel Yadav could mature and become a better bowler - its really up to him. At least Yadav and Aaron have opened doors for other Indians to bowl quick. It is only a matter of time we see better bowlers coming thru. India is vast country - I once read an article of ATUL SHARMA a really quick bowler. I wonder where he is now. Others like Samiullah and Abid Nabi from the Kashmir were also written about.

  • anilkp on August 26, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster: How do you determine my possible response to statements by other players from other countries? You do not know me at all! By the way, I will have the same response to any bowler whose priority is not taking wickets/minimizing RR. Umesh took a five-for down-under, with what expense? Statistics do not lie, and a Test economy of 4.2 tells a lot. His priority should be taking wickets, no matter what. If he thinks his speed will scare batsmen and earn him wickets, he is wrong. Do you think sheer speed will earn him any wicket? Do you think batsmen will be scared of his speed? His records (4.2 runs per over) show that the batsmen like him. Frankly, how you bowl--fast, slow, orthodox or unorthodox, left or right, or whatever--is not important at all. What matters is how many wickets you take. Your captain hands the ball to you because he needs a wicket, not because he wants to see how well you can beat the speedometer.

  • on August 25, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    I liked the approach of Umesh Yadav and hate the defensive Indian fast bowler approach. For a match a team has a combination of 4/5 bowlers. What I am trying to say, you don't need more than one 140+ bowler for a match. But if you have a bowler in your team who can bowl 140+ in a regular basis that will give you the variation along with the wicket as well. I have seen a lot of Indian line-length 130 ks bowlers for 20 years. Most of them are rubbish. As a cricket fan I want to see more Indian bowler who wants to bowl 140+ in a regular basis.

  • on August 25, 2013, 2:14 GMT

    umesh yadav is a confidence bowler once he starts building pressure for a few overs, his pace starts to grow and thats when he starts taking wickets. Yadav instead of playing in IPl needs to play county. No way in the world is he going to improve by balling 3-4 overs a game for 2 months. He is only going to get injured more often. When he plays first class season in county and balls, he will be bowling a hell of a lot of overs (I see 25 year olds already with 100 games and about 350 wickets), which will only help him get better and fitter. Ask ojha or zaheer.

  • Chris_P on August 24, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    If India is serious in developing him, then pitches should be provided for him to exploit,t otherwise he will be breaking his back on unresponsive pitches. Many tests will be played on pitches aiding quick bowlers & I continually hear Indian fans bemoaning the fact their quicks don't deliver. They don't deliver due to their incentive to bowl fast has been sucked out of them with prepared batting "roads". As long as this happens, then Indian pacers will always struggle in SA & Aust. Umesh last Australian tour, showed a lot of promise & needs to be nurtured for him to provide India with a viable pace bowling option for the future.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 24, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    @anilkp: If the same message would have been said by an Aussie, an English man or a SA bowler, your tone would have been different. Why is that ? Is pace a birthright of those players ? Or even Pakistanis for that matter ? Why is it that we have ready made haters on these forums whenever a good article is drafted on an Indian player ? Can India never produce genuine fast bowlers ? You will be surprised at the number of good fast bowlers our Ranji circuit has produced. Besides, conditions in SA will help Umesh bowl quickly and knock over those SA batsmen. Umesh is only saying what Dale Steyn ALWAYS says: to bowl fast with accuracy. The wickets will then tumble. Try to wish Umesh well instead of criticizing him without point.

  • king_julien on August 24, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    I find all the hate directed at Umesh a little sad. The guy might not be a great bowler yet but is an honest trier. Every single Indian bowler I have seen, drop their pace significantly once they are established. Srinath was a tearway fast bowler in his young days, he dropped his pace a bit but became much more effective latter. Zaheer bowled at 145 in his first tournament, but within 1-2 seasons he was down into 130s and later into even 120s. Munaf in domestic cricket used to bowl at 150 (believe me homies) & Lillie used to speak of him as great in making. I saw him play against NZ in a first class match where he bowled Fleming with sheer pace. By the time he came into the national side, he was a little dibbly dobbly bowler.

    He has been the only one I have seen in Indian side who has never gone down on his pace. The 2 wickets he got with sheer pace in Ahmedabad against the run of play won India the match. If he can improve his skill a bit at his current pace, that will be a big boon

  • MaruthuDelft on August 24, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    If he doesn't bowl at more than 150 kmph he won't be effective because he is not a natural wicket taking bowler. So I think he is right; he should try to ball as fast as possible but outswingers at 140 kmph don't guarantee success.

  • Al_Bundy1 on August 24, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    At the end of the day, a bowlers job is to get wickets. It don't matter how fast or how slow the bowler is. If a bowler doesn't get wickets even after getting a fair number of chances (read Ishant), he should be dropped.

  • Sultan2007 on August 27, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    I thnk Umesh is a wonderful talent. His future development needs to be through the County system in England. India has neither the pitches nor the coaches to develop him to his true potential - or for that matter access to good physical training and medical attention on an ongoing basis

  • Naresh28 on August 27, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    I think some of the fans should cool down here. Umesh may not be a good talker and hence may not have said what he meant. Its okay for India to have one fast bowler in its ranks. Fast by India standards. I feel Yadav could mature and become a better bowler - its really up to him. At least Yadav and Aaron have opened doors for other Indians to bowl quick. It is only a matter of time we see better bowlers coming thru. India is vast country - I once read an article of ATUL SHARMA a really quick bowler. I wonder where he is now. Others like Samiullah and Abid Nabi from the Kashmir were also written about.

  • anilkp on August 26, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster: How do you determine my possible response to statements by other players from other countries? You do not know me at all! By the way, I will have the same response to any bowler whose priority is not taking wickets/minimizing RR. Umesh took a five-for down-under, with what expense? Statistics do not lie, and a Test economy of 4.2 tells a lot. His priority should be taking wickets, no matter what. If he thinks his speed will scare batsmen and earn him wickets, he is wrong. Do you think sheer speed will earn him any wicket? Do you think batsmen will be scared of his speed? His records (4.2 runs per over) show that the batsmen like him. Frankly, how you bowl--fast, slow, orthodox or unorthodox, left or right, or whatever--is not important at all. What matters is how many wickets you take. Your captain hands the ball to you because he needs a wicket, not because he wants to see how well you can beat the speedometer.

  • on August 25, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    I liked the approach of Umesh Yadav and hate the defensive Indian fast bowler approach. For a match a team has a combination of 4/5 bowlers. What I am trying to say, you don't need more than one 140+ bowler for a match. But if you have a bowler in your team who can bowl 140+ in a regular basis that will give you the variation along with the wicket as well. I have seen a lot of Indian line-length 130 ks bowlers for 20 years. Most of them are rubbish. As a cricket fan I want to see more Indian bowler who wants to bowl 140+ in a regular basis.

  • on August 25, 2013, 2:14 GMT

    umesh yadav is a confidence bowler once he starts building pressure for a few overs, his pace starts to grow and thats when he starts taking wickets. Yadav instead of playing in IPl needs to play county. No way in the world is he going to improve by balling 3-4 overs a game for 2 months. He is only going to get injured more often. When he plays first class season in county and balls, he will be bowling a hell of a lot of overs (I see 25 year olds already with 100 games and about 350 wickets), which will only help him get better and fitter. Ask ojha or zaheer.

  • Chris_P on August 24, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    If India is serious in developing him, then pitches should be provided for him to exploit,t otherwise he will be breaking his back on unresponsive pitches. Many tests will be played on pitches aiding quick bowlers & I continually hear Indian fans bemoaning the fact their quicks don't deliver. They don't deliver due to their incentive to bowl fast has been sucked out of them with prepared batting "roads". As long as this happens, then Indian pacers will always struggle in SA & Aust. Umesh last Australian tour, showed a lot of promise & needs to be nurtured for him to provide India with a viable pace bowling option for the future.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 24, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    @anilkp: If the same message would have been said by an Aussie, an English man or a SA bowler, your tone would have been different. Why is that ? Is pace a birthright of those players ? Or even Pakistanis for that matter ? Why is it that we have ready made haters on these forums whenever a good article is drafted on an Indian player ? Can India never produce genuine fast bowlers ? You will be surprised at the number of good fast bowlers our Ranji circuit has produced. Besides, conditions in SA will help Umesh bowl quickly and knock over those SA batsmen. Umesh is only saying what Dale Steyn ALWAYS says: to bowl fast with accuracy. The wickets will then tumble. Try to wish Umesh well instead of criticizing him without point.

  • king_julien on August 24, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    I find all the hate directed at Umesh a little sad. The guy might not be a great bowler yet but is an honest trier. Every single Indian bowler I have seen, drop their pace significantly once they are established. Srinath was a tearway fast bowler in his young days, he dropped his pace a bit but became much more effective latter. Zaheer bowled at 145 in his first tournament, but within 1-2 seasons he was down into 130s and later into even 120s. Munaf in domestic cricket used to bowl at 150 (believe me homies) & Lillie used to speak of him as great in making. I saw him play against NZ in a first class match where he bowled Fleming with sheer pace. By the time he came into the national side, he was a little dibbly dobbly bowler.

    He has been the only one I have seen in Indian side who has never gone down on his pace. The 2 wickets he got with sheer pace in Ahmedabad against the run of play won India the match. If he can improve his skill a bit at his current pace, that will be a big boon

  • MaruthuDelft on August 24, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    If he doesn't bowl at more than 150 kmph he won't be effective because he is not a natural wicket taking bowler. So I think he is right; he should try to ball as fast as possible but outswingers at 140 kmph don't guarantee success.

  • Al_Bundy1 on August 24, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    At the end of the day, a bowlers job is to get wickets. It don't matter how fast or how slow the bowler is. If a bowler doesn't get wickets even after getting a fair number of chances (read Ishant), he should be dropped.

  • mahi678 on August 24, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    umesh if u want to bowl fast think about your capacity. if he wants to bowl at 140+ consistently, he should have capacity to do that longer period. fast bowler should bowl at ease an bowl an odd fast delivery. trying too much pace gets u tired, off line , leak runs and finally makes to out of team and injured too. like the way shami bowls at ease. speed is great weapon if u have enough fitness and control; still u have to use it occassionally. coming back to pakistan bowlers.. there may some quality bowlers wasim and imran, but most of thier bowlers leak away runs for sake of sheer pace. for example, compare shoiab akhtar with wasim and brett lee with mcgrath. it says all.

  • anilkp on August 24, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    Bowling fast is your priority, Umesh? And not taking wickets? And not keeping the RR in check? Your records suggest that taking wicket and keeping the scoring to a minimum are not in your priority. Frankly, it does not matter how fast you bowl, when you leak over 4.2 runs in Tests (and >6 in ODIs) every six balls, and to top it with a stray wicket or two here and there. You got to concede that the lack of ability of Indian pacers to break partnerships was equally culpable (along with some poor batting) during those two 0-4s. Your team will tour SAf and Eng next. With this mindless priority that you set, we see no hope. Sorry, mate, I hate to see people run like express trains and hurl the ball like a lightening only for the batsman the whack it for a four or six.

  • Nampally on August 24, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Umesh says "I have a natural outswinger and If I can bowl 4 or 5 of them at 140 KPH plus every over , I will be satisfied with my effort". I would add that he should bowls them at the right length & direction. There is no point in bowling them wide outside the off stump or half way down the pitch. Every fast bowler dreams to bowl as fast as he can. But if there is no control in his length & direction, he is just wasting his energy in futile pursuit. Great bowlers like McGrath & Steyn bowl consistently at 140 KPH but watch how they focus on variation of pace,length & direction to deceive the batsmen. Every bowler has to think on his feet & exploit the batsmen's weaknesses. There is no point in hitting the deck as hard as you can with a harmless bumper.There was a slightly built Indian fast bowler, RB Desai, in late 50's to 60's - about 5'-4" & 120 Lbs. He had a lethal wkt. taking(most feared) bumper, just short of length + about 135 KPH. Location of bumper was the key to his success!

  • indian_cricketlover on August 24, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    I find some of the criticism that Umesh Yadav gets as unfair. Its true that his form in the Champions Trophy was not his best and there are moments where he was eratic and expensive. But we also have to take into picture that he is one of the rare genuine fast bowlers that India has produced. He is a natural athlete and if he can stay fit, I am sure he has a lot to offer to Indian cricket. India is not as lucky as Pakistan are in the pace bowling department, their youth have many role models to look upto waqar, wasim, imran, shoiab to name a few. India has produced many swing bowlers like Kapil, Srinath, Zaheer, BK, PK etc, but the likes of Umesh and Varun are rare and few. Hope these guys inspire the next generation of Indian fast bowlers.

  • on August 24, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    @waqas - did I say umesh is as good as waqar or wasim. I am not comparing him with anyone. If anything I was suggesting yadav to follow how the 2w's improved as bowlers, and draw inspiration from it. When u guys are playing u try to ball like the 2 w's don't u when playing in the playground. Does that mean that u are comparing urself to wasim or waqar - which I admit are the 2 greatest bowlers I saw.

  • TengaZool on August 24, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    @Wajahat Javed - Thank you very much for your comments for you have given a fresh perspective to the article from a Pakistani perspective. Although unnecessary, there must be some wisdom in your words. I am yet to fully comprehend the context and wisdom behind your words but thank you nevertheless. All the best to you and Pakistan. Hope you win something in the near future with your express bowlers.

  • on August 24, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Speed alone doesn't help you in international cricket, that too outside India. Many of the top batmen in the opposing teams are used to facing pacers who bowl around 150, quite consistently. Accuracy is also important. I have lost count of the number of times Umesh had bowled leg side wides. He also has to develop (if not deceptive, at least a decent) in-swinger

    Yes, Umesh is among THE pool of pacers for the future, along with Bhuvanesh, Pandey, Shami, Sumit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, S. Kaul, Unadkat et al. Those who show consistency among these will be our pace bowling team for the future.

    ( I was in two minds to include the 'self confessed' Ishant in this group or not !

  • zorrotsongo on August 24, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    @Waqas Hassan Ranjha: We are not obsessed with Wasim & Waqar. For giving example only Naman Gupta referred these two greats name because Pakistan so far has produced these two bowlers as the greatest of all time. We know our limitation and strength. Imran Khan often referring Inzam with Sachin, what is the status Saching playing still but ? Mediocre or Media Care, performance does the matter. Common brother, comparison different from referring the matter. Isn't if?

  • on August 24, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    @ naman gupta... y u indian are soo obsess wid any new comer to compare with wasim waqar???? tell me where is irfan or zaheer or nehra or agarkar now???? Give every lad a time to perform then put him to big shoes. cz nw all indian fast bowler are mediocre.

  • on August 24, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    What fast ??? do call him a fast bowler ??? who bowls only around 138 . 140 ?? even junaid khan who is the slowest of three seamers in pakistan team can bowl faster than umesh .. when junaid does not get movement from pitch then he wake up his pace and bowls over 140's consistantly ... and irfan who is not even regarded as express bowler by pakistanis can bowl around 145. 146 consistantly ... umesh really have to increase his pace if he wants to be a fast bowler because sometimes when he struggles he bowls in high in 130's

  • on August 24, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Umesh is a very promising fast bowler. He should do what likes of waqar younis and wasim did which was bowl with a slightly older bowl and then as his control improves, give him the new ball. So the opening bowlers should be 2 swing bowlers (bhuvi, and any from sandeep sharma, irfan pathan, shami ahmed etc). Then bring in umesh as first change, and he should be asked to bowl fast and full with slightly shorter spells.

  • on August 24, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    Where is Varun Aaron?? Both in tandem will be pretty sight to watch.

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  • on August 24, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    Where is Varun Aaron?? Both in tandem will be pretty sight to watch.

  • on August 24, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Umesh is a very promising fast bowler. He should do what likes of waqar younis and wasim did which was bowl with a slightly older bowl and then as his control improves, give him the new ball. So the opening bowlers should be 2 swing bowlers (bhuvi, and any from sandeep sharma, irfan pathan, shami ahmed etc). Then bring in umesh as first change, and he should be asked to bowl fast and full with slightly shorter spells.

  • on August 24, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    What fast ??? do call him a fast bowler ??? who bowls only around 138 . 140 ?? even junaid khan who is the slowest of three seamers in pakistan team can bowl faster than umesh .. when junaid does not get movement from pitch then he wake up his pace and bowls over 140's consistantly ... and irfan who is not even regarded as express bowler by pakistanis can bowl around 145. 146 consistantly ... umesh really have to increase his pace if he wants to be a fast bowler because sometimes when he struggles he bowls in high in 130's

  • on August 24, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    @ naman gupta... y u indian are soo obsess wid any new comer to compare with wasim waqar???? tell me where is irfan or zaheer or nehra or agarkar now???? Give every lad a time to perform then put him to big shoes. cz nw all indian fast bowler are mediocre.

  • zorrotsongo on August 24, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    @Waqas Hassan Ranjha: We are not obsessed with Wasim & Waqar. For giving example only Naman Gupta referred these two greats name because Pakistan so far has produced these two bowlers as the greatest of all time. We know our limitation and strength. Imran Khan often referring Inzam with Sachin, what is the status Saching playing still but ? Mediocre or Media Care, performance does the matter. Common brother, comparison different from referring the matter. Isn't if?

  • on August 24, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Speed alone doesn't help you in international cricket, that too outside India. Many of the top batmen in the opposing teams are used to facing pacers who bowl around 150, quite consistently. Accuracy is also important. I have lost count of the number of times Umesh had bowled leg side wides. He also has to develop (if not deceptive, at least a decent) in-swinger

    Yes, Umesh is among THE pool of pacers for the future, along with Bhuvanesh, Pandey, Shami, Sumit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, S. Kaul, Unadkat et al. Those who show consistency among these will be our pace bowling team for the future.

    ( I was in two minds to include the 'self confessed' Ishant in this group or not !

  • TengaZool on August 24, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    @Wajahat Javed - Thank you very much for your comments for you have given a fresh perspective to the article from a Pakistani perspective. Although unnecessary, there must be some wisdom in your words. I am yet to fully comprehend the context and wisdom behind your words but thank you nevertheless. All the best to you and Pakistan. Hope you win something in the near future with your express bowlers.

  • on August 24, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    @waqas - did I say umesh is as good as waqar or wasim. I am not comparing him with anyone. If anything I was suggesting yadav to follow how the 2w's improved as bowlers, and draw inspiration from it. When u guys are playing u try to ball like the 2 w's don't u when playing in the playground. Does that mean that u are comparing urself to wasim or waqar - which I admit are the 2 greatest bowlers I saw.

  • indian_cricketlover on August 24, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    I find some of the criticism that Umesh Yadav gets as unfair. Its true that his form in the Champions Trophy was not his best and there are moments where he was eratic and expensive. But we also have to take into picture that he is one of the rare genuine fast bowlers that India has produced. He is a natural athlete and if he can stay fit, I am sure he has a lot to offer to Indian cricket. India is not as lucky as Pakistan are in the pace bowling department, their youth have many role models to look upto waqar, wasim, imran, shoiab to name a few. India has produced many swing bowlers like Kapil, Srinath, Zaheer, BK, PK etc, but the likes of Umesh and Varun are rare and few. Hope these guys inspire the next generation of Indian fast bowlers.

  • Nampally on August 24, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Umesh says "I have a natural outswinger and If I can bowl 4 or 5 of them at 140 KPH plus every over , I will be satisfied with my effort". I would add that he should bowls them at the right length & direction. There is no point in bowling them wide outside the off stump or half way down the pitch. Every fast bowler dreams to bowl as fast as he can. But if there is no control in his length & direction, he is just wasting his energy in futile pursuit. Great bowlers like McGrath & Steyn bowl consistently at 140 KPH but watch how they focus on variation of pace,length & direction to deceive the batsmen. Every bowler has to think on his feet & exploit the batsmen's weaknesses. There is no point in hitting the deck as hard as you can with a harmless bumper.There was a slightly built Indian fast bowler, RB Desai, in late 50's to 60's - about 5'-4" & 120 Lbs. He had a lethal wkt. taking(most feared) bumper, just short of length + about 135 KPH. Location of bumper was the key to his success!