At 32, Nagpur-born Umesh Yadav is neither too old for international cricket while also not being a ‘has-been!’ Isn’t it? For someone who overcame tremendous hardships in personal life, not having too much to fall back on, the journey – emerging as the ‘coal miner’s’ son who many would’ve thought won’t have gone that far to gain international recognition, Umesh Yadav inspires as much as he warrants respect for being a genuine fast-bowling tearaway.
While his cricketing journey, it could be said, might not have exactly been a fairy-tale journey, the right-armer often finding himself as an “in-and-out” performer and often, in both formats of the game, that he’s still got the adrenaline and keenness for the sport is hardly a doubt. On top of it, cutting an athletic and agile frame, although withered often by one injury too many, that at 32, there seems a chance for Umesh Yadav’s comeback strikes one as an interesting tale.
While it can be said that being an express pace bowler in itself is no easy task, nor is it ever easy to become a consistent presence, that Umesh Yadav’s comeback, as hinted by the right-arm seamer himself seems a rather intriguing if not exasperating tale. This is especially down to the fact that where one sees the current makeup of the Virat Kohli-led side, then finding a permanent place seems overwhelmingly tough.
Surely, it doesn’t make one an Einstein to understand just why?
In a unit that boasts of diverse talents, where there’s already someone like a Bumrah, along with someone like Shami (going as strong as he has been, especially considering his menacing 2019 form), there’s so much diversity already. One doesn’t have to think hard about the fact that in the likes of Shardul Thakur and the newfound Navdeep Saini, the Indian Cricket team is already buzzing with class and talent.
In such circumstances, the news about Umesh Yadav’s comeback, though interesting, appears about as challenging as the tedium required by a recovering soldier who’s asked to climb an overly populated hill, that too barefooted.
But still, we know of the classic adage: Never say, never! Right?
In the context of Umesh Yadav’s comeback, it is important to know that the last he played an ODI was back in 2018. The contest was at Vizag against the West Indies, where the burly right-arm pacer went for over 7.8 an over in his 10 over spell that cost the team 78 runs. Against a Shai Hope and Virat Kohli-special, both batsmen scoring magnificent centuries for their sides, the contest ended in a tie.
Since then, while the teams have locked horns on many an occasion, there’s been no sight of Umesh Yadav, the pacer, although, featuring in the one-off pink-ball Test versus Bangladesh just last year.
Surely, one can understand Yadav’s precarious situation, also perhaps a sensitive one, since this is a talent with 106 ODI wickets (75 games) and 142 Test scalps (45 Tests) against his name. That he shared that he too is a ‘human’ and that who ‘wishes to sit outside the ground,’ it is sufficiently clear that the zeal to return and the desire to effect a change in his career is what matters most for the bowler, who was ignored for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
In a recent interaction with a leading news daily, the talks about Umesh Yadav’s comeback gained wind, and seemed rational, not outplaced in the context of the current build-up of the side.
Yadav, 120 international appearances for India (including ODIs and Tests) shared: “I am thankful to the selectors who gave me the opportunity to play for the country. They are the best judge. I am trying my best to make a comeback to white-ball cricket. For this, whatever I have to do, I will.”
Furthermore, NDTV sports shared some insights about the imminent future of one of the fastest medium pacers to have hit the turf from India, ”
Honestly, I am looking forward to this (playing Tests in New Zealand). I am eager to play red-ball cricket in New Zealand. I have performed well in recent times and I’m in good touch too. My series against Bangladesh was good too. I am pretty positive about my selection for New Zealand Test series.
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“If I am selected, I am going to give my 100 per cent. I have worked a lot on my line and length. I am hoping for the best,” he signed off.”