I am only 80 per cent. I still have to improve: Umesh Yadav

Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: BCCI)

India pace spearhead Umesh Yadav, one of the few Indian bowler with the ability to bowl  140 plus on regular basis, is not satisfied with his success so far. His dissatisfaction has nothing to do with the stats which look tad mediocre at first glance. With 15 wickets respectively in 9 Tests and 15 ODIs this year, many number-obsessed might call this year as a failure for him.

However, Yadav, to be fair had a pretty successful year as the fast bowling workhorse in the Indian team which mostly played on slow tracks this year.  The exposure to various conditions has now opened up his mind and has made him think about adding more useful tricks of fast bowling.


“It was an interesting year. I played a lot Test matches and I was also part of the ODIs. All things taken into account, I think it was a great year for me.

“Yes, that is right. Success may have come only recently but I managed to achieve the control even in 2015. Having been exposed to different match situations, I have learnt from my mistakes. The maturity was there in 2015 also. My effort has been to coordinate my pace with line and length and it is all coming together. But I am not 100 per cent yet. I am only 80 per cent. I still have to improve 15-20 percent to be a complete fast bowler.”

He also said that his bowling is still a work in progress and that he want to keep improving.

‘You need variations, a good bouncer and a good yorker can be a deadly combination. I did try bowling yorkers and full-length balls in the Tests against England. Koshishs jaari hai. That will improve soon.”

Yadav also emphasised that clocking 145 on a regular basis doesn’t guarantee you success right away, especially in overseas conditions.

“Bowling fast cannot guarantee success. You may get pace-friendly wickets on Australia, England or South Africa but you can’t take wickets by sheer dint of pace. Even in helpful wickets, you need to have control in your length.”

“We must not get carried away by the nature of the wicket. It should be like ‘the more the help from the wicket, the more the focus on control’. There is a danger of being over excited at the assistance from the wicket but the excitement has to be curbed.”

Fitness issues have marred the India selection policies. Keeping the batsmen aside, the fast bowling department has seen both of Yadav’s bowling partner Ishant Shami and Mohammad Shami miss a lot of cricketing action due to injuries. However, Yadav somehow has managed to keep himself safe from such disruptions.

“It is all linked to the recovery process, diet and preparation. I had done robust preparation knowing well that it would be a long season. To play five Tests, I knew how much I should prepare and how much recovery time was needed. The family support is very important in this. My family took care of my needs, from arranging proper diet to helping in the training sessions. Post-match recovery is very important and my family was very helpful on this.”

Lastly, when asked to pick one of his most memorable spells of 2016. Yadav states that there wasn’t any specific spell he remembers but would like to rate his bowling during the entire India-England series as highly memorable.

“The whole Test series against England was quite memorable and enjoyable. It was actually the best of 2016 from a personal point of view. The way I kept running in, the way I gave the team crucial breakthroughs and the way I bowled, the whole series was very memorable for me. If you want to me to still further crunch my selection, I enjoyed taking the wickets of Jonny Bairstow (vs England), Martin Guptill (vs New Zealand), and also the catch of Guptill (off the bowling of Hardik Pandya in an ODI vs New Zealand).