IPL 2014 newsfile May 22, 2014

Umesh's form a good sign, says Ganguly

ESPNcricinfo staff

Fit Umesh good news

Sourav Ganguly has said it takes a "special effort" to win five matches in a row and Kolkata Knight Riders must be proud. A former captain with Knight Riders, Ganguly added that the form of Umesh Yadav in the recent Kolkata Knights Riders' wins is a good sign for India ahead of the important tour to England.

Highlighting the team's pluses, Ganguly, in his column in gocricket.com, wrote, "it's not just been Uthappa . There have been a few other players who have also stepped up. Shakib Al Hasan has been amazing with the bat and ball and his batting form against CSK was superb. He hit the ball cleanly, and it will be a confidence booster to the middle order which had looked brittle at the start of the season.

"For me, though, the best news has been Umesh Yadav's return to form. It will be heartening for the selectors and the Indian team since a fit Umesh is very important to the side. India are soon touring England and Australia later this year and his pace will be very important to the team. The Indian bowling attack needs that push and hopefully he can provide that."

A solid referral

Lendl Simmons, ignored during the IPL auction, was picked up by Mumbai Indians as a replacement for the injured Jalaj Saxena. He hasn't looked back. In his fifth IPL match, he crossed 60 for the third time and went on to complete a century - a run that has helped his team's batting appear more formidable than the first half. And he has his Trinidad & Tobago teammates to thank for his late call from the Mumbai Indians camp.

"Since Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard have played for Mumbai Indians, they always vouched on me to the owners that I am a good player and that they should bid for me," Simmons told iplt20.com. "They kept telling me that one day I will get an opportunity to play for Mumbai Indians. They were right. The call came and here I am! I can bat and I back myself to bat the team to winning positions."