We did not feel the need to rest: Umesh on Kohli’s decision to enforce follow-on in Pune Test

Written by Abhishek Patil

India fast bowler Umesh Yadav once again reminded the selectors and team management of his capabilities with the red ball with his outstanding performance in the second Test against South Africa.

Umesh, who was brought into the Test squad as a replacement for the injured Jasprit Bumrah for this series, bagged 6 wickets in the match – 3 in each innings – as India crushed South Africa by an innings and 137 runs in the Pune Test to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series on Sunday.

Umesh, who was playing his first Test since the match against Australia in Perth in December last year, has only featured in 6 of India’s last 19 matches due to the competition he is facing from teammates Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who are the first-choice speedsters for India in the longest format.

But Umesh insists that the competition among the pacers is healthy and that everyone will gets equal chances to perform.

“This is part and parcel [of the game], it will keep happening as long as I play cricket. These situations will keep coming, and I know I have to be ready when I get my chance. For that, it’s important to stay positive, keep playing the game, and stay focused,” Umesh said after the Pune Test.

“I always make sure I keep getting match practice, whether it’s Ranji Trophy or India A or anything else. These are the things that give me positivity, and my focus remains sharp because the more matches you play, the more match practice you have, which is very important, because as much as you may bowl in the nets, it’s different when you play matches and know how you’re supposed to bowl, what planning you need to do.

“These things (selection) aren’t in my hands. I can’t say, ‘no, I need to play every Test match’. All the bowlers are good, all of them are doing well, and there’s healthy competition. Whoever does well will keep playing. At some stage, each of us will get chances, and when that happens, I need to be ready, positive, and focused,” Umesh said.

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Abhishek Patil