India skipper Virat Kohli has hinted that speedster Umesh Yadav might feature in the playing XI of the upcoming Australia series after his stellar showing in the second Test against West Indies. Umesh claimed 10-wicket haul against the Windies in Hyderabad to help India register a comprehensive 10-wicket victory.
“I think it was a standout performance in his career and something that he can build on. Four Tests in Australia can be brutal because the (Kookaburra) ball does not do much like in England. So you have to come in and run in all day and hit the right area with pace. But I think from that point of view, Umesh is right up there to be featuring in Australia,” Kohli said while addressing the media after the Test series win against the Windies.
Umesh bowled more than 35 overs in the humid conditions of Hyderabad over the two West Indies innings and the fitness levels he exhibited could make him a frontrunner for Australia series alongside Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma.
“Because he (Umesh) has got the pace, he has got the fitness levels to run in all day, picks up wickets at crucial times and he gets good bounce as well, so it’s a great headache to have. Obviously, all four guys, when they are touching 140 and when they are taking wickets for you, it is obviously something that any captain would like to have,” the Indian captain added.
Umesh bowled without the support of Shardul Thakur, who broke down after just 10 deliveries on Day 1 of the second Test in Hyderabad.
“I thought with Shardul breaking down very early, to bowl like that in both innings was a great effort on his part. It showed the kind of fitness levels he had, to keep running in and bowl 140 clicks throughout the game and picking wickets and not just completing overs,” Virat asserted.
The Indian captain also said that Umesh has come a long way and now he “understands” bowling in the long format better than ever.
“Not many people realise but he is a very, very talented bowler. He can bowl you unplayable deliveries every now and then which we experience in the nets all the time. He will just bowl a ball which you feel you couldn’t have done anything else except getting out. He is gaining more confidence about his own game. He has come a long way. It’s a great sign. Bowling is something that we need to keep as a major strength for us in order to feel that we have a chance to win series when we travel away from home as well. I think these guys (Umesh, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Shami and Ishant Sharma) are taking responsibility well,” Kohli stated.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)