India news August 24, 2013

Bowling fast is my priority - Umesh

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

  • Rahul 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

  • Naresh 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.

  • Anil 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Peter 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.

  • Jay 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.

  • Pravin 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

  • Varnendra 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 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.

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