‘I was terrified’ – Umesh Yadav recalls bowling to Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in 2008-09 Duleep Trophy

‘I was terrified’ – Umesh Yadav recalls bowling to Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in 2008-09 Duleep Trophy

In that game, Umesh dismissed both of them cheaply and returned with a five-wicket haul.

Umesh Yadav. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Umesh Yadav, the Indian fast bowler, remembered the times when he had to bowl to Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in the 2008-09 Duleep Trophy. Back then, Umesh was around 19 years even as Laxman and Dravid were two of the big names in the national team. In 2001, it’s was Laxman and Dravid, who helped India win the Kolkata Test against Australia after being made to follow on.

India’s victory at the Eden Gardens is deemed to be one of the greatest heists ever in the longer format. Speaking about bowling to the duo in the match between Central Zone and South Zone, Umesh said that he was terrified. However, he said that he was happy to have performed under the extreme pressure.

That gave me immense confidence: Umesh Yadav

“When I went to play the Duleep Trophy match and got to know the team I would be playing against and I would be bowling against the likes of (Rahul) Dravid and (VVS) Laxman – I was terrified. I had never imagined that I would bowl such a fine spell under such a pressure situation,” Umesh was quoted as saying in an episode of Cricbuzz’s ‘Spicy Pitch’.

In that game, Yadav got rid of Laxman and Dravid for 13 and seven respectively and finished with a five-wicket haul. The performance rubbed off positively on him and 16 months later in May 2010, he made his India debut in Zimbabwe during an ODI series.

“I took a 5-wicket haul for South Zone and I got the big wickets of Dravid and Laxman. That gave me immense confidence. People say that their situation is tough, or they’ve seen such a hard life and struggled their way here.

After 10 years, Umesh has played 46 Tests, 75 ODIs and seven T20Is, picking up 144, 106 and nine wickets respectively. He reckons that one has to have self-belief in order to taste success.

“I say everyone has a hard life, no one has it easy. The main thing is to have faith and if you believe in yourself you’ll find success and the space you need in your life, there’s nothing else to it,” the Vidarbha pacer added.