West Indies v India, 1st Test, Antigua, 3rd day July 24, 2016

'Plan was to bowl as many maiden overs as possible' - Umesh Yadav

ESPNcricinfo staff

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Shami and I have excellent chemistry - Umesh

Of the 103.2 overs India have bowled to West Indies so far in the Antigua Test, 34 have been maidens. Umesh Yadav, who took four wickets in the first innings to help India enforce the follow-on, said bowling maidens has been a central part of their plans for the tour, given the predominance of slow pitches in the Caribbean.

"When we came to the ground and saw the wicket, we realised we won't get wickets where the ball will seam or swing," Umesh said, at the end of the third day's play. "We knew the conditions would be pretty hard, especially because it was going to be hot as well.

"The main thing we planned was to bowl as many maidens as possible, and not give easy boundaries. Whether it's the coach [Anil Kumble] or Virat [Kohli, the captain], the whole team sits and discusses the same thing, that it won't be easy to take 20 wickets, and so it becomes very important to plan. And it can't end there. If it's said in the meeting that we have to bowl maidens, then we have to bowl maidens, because we know we won't take 20 wickets otherwise."

India's bowlers, according to Umesh, made a conscious effort to not relax after their batsmen had piled up 566 in the first innings. "We don't look at it like we have 566," he said. "We look at it like we have only made 350, and the earlier we bowl them out, the better it is for us in the second innings. Our effort was that, if we got them out by the end of today, we would have two more days to bowl them out again."

India went into the Test with three genuine fast bowlers, and five frontline bowlers in all, and Umesh praised the chemistry among them.

"We always give that kind of confidence to each other, always we are pushing [each other]," he said. "Whenever things are a little difficult, we need to push our friend or team-mate a little bit, and lift them. When we see, for example, that [Mohammed] Shami is bowling very well but he's not getting wickets, my job is, I go to him and say, "Shami, you're bowling very well, keep going." Because I know that if someone is bowling well from one end, then it helps the person at the second end, so if we don't plan and bowl as a combination, it becomes difficult for us. Main thing is, you push each other and complement each other, and recognise that, "yeah, it's not my day today [to take wickets], it's your day".

Shami, playing his first Test in over a year-and-a-half after returning from a long-term knee injury, also took four wickets in West Indies' first innings. Umesh said the team never doubted whether Shami would come back successfully.

"There was no doubt about it, because he's a natural bowler. We never thought he'll struggle. If he struggled, it was only until he had recovered from his injury. No one has to tell him, bowl here, bowl like this. He's a smart bowler, he's got everything - outswing, inswing, bouncers."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shamim8111282 on August 4, 2016, 20:16 GMT

    Umesh shami should get 2-3 T20s

  • shamim8111282 on August 4, 2016, 20:14 GMT

    Pujara needs to be replaced cause draws can happen

  • shamim8111282 on August 4, 2016, 20:13 GMT

    Umesh can bowl well with the new ball

  • shamim8111282 on August 4, 2016, 20:12 GMT

    Umesh, shami both should get a chance for opening remove ishant , Ishant has got early breakthroughs but we can look at these wickets 2x Chandrika 1x K brathwaithe so we see chandrika there. As u see there is the confirmation that he will be replaced

  • Steve on July 24, 2016, 14:00 GMT

    Just a little bit of success in one innings against the 2nd weakest batting unit, just ahead of only ZIM, and the tongues start wagging! Let's see a year of similar performances against Aussies, SA, NZ and Eng and then start the praising symphony.

  • Alex on July 24, 2016, 5:30 GMT

    Umesh really need to change his release. it is like stiff arm bowling. Because of that he never get shape on the ball. Ball has to be released just above horizonal. Idea is if ball released in slope angle gravity play big part and ball will land like ramp and loses shape. What you need is dip on the ball , to do that ball has to be pushed 10 degree horizontally. This angle can vary depends on height. Because of this push ball can dip at any length based on Wind and give confusion to batsman on judging length. Yadav has body , strength but his technique is pretty poor. Right arm need more flexibility like muhammed asif. He really should watch asif videos and mimic it. Asif does nothing special though. He had ideal height and was able to push the ball that allowed him to vary length last second based how strong the push was. He can sneak in yorker with same action with more higher angle.

  • sam on July 24, 2016, 4:54 GMT

    Both Umesh and Shami bowled well. I had doubts over Shami's fitness and I wanted Bhuvi in his place but I must confess that I was wrong. Umesh though needs to go wide of crease more often with his outswingers to make right handed batsman play at more of his outswingers. Shami gets movements both ways sometimes in the air and sometimes off the seam and is India's most skillful bowler since Zaheer Khan. However, he experiments a bit too much and and bowls quite a few loose deliveries especially when he gets a bit tired. Shami needs a bit more discipline and fitness and if he can pitch up the ball another foot or so in-front on the pitch (often he is half an yard short like Ishant) he will be a terrific bowler.

  • James on July 24, 2016, 4:42 GMT

    I always get the feeling after watching the games that Bhubaneswar Kumar would be a better option on most pitches as compared to Ishant Sharma

  • Salt on July 24, 2016, 4:11 GMT

    Good Job Umesh!! Have always rooted for you but ended with disappointment.Pls pls pls hold on to the new patience. It will do wonders for your career.

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