Mumbai: Umesh Yadav belongs to a rare breed of Indian bowlers who love running in and hit the deck hard. In an interview with this newspaper, the 28-year-old says he has evolved as a seamer with more control and vows not to cut down the pace.
On injury management: Contrary to what people have projected, I didn’t have many injuries. I once had a stress fracture, in 2009 for the first time (which ruled him out of the IPL in South Africa). In 2012, I was injured after the Ahmedabad Test against England. Since then, I don’t think I have stayed out of the team due to an injury. Reports about me getting injured often are not true.
On his action and how it helps minimise injuries:
I had to work on my action a bit after an injury in 2009. I made it more open-chested. Now, my action is smooth and doesn’t put too much stress on the body. During the West Indies series, I was bowling close to the crease. Anil bhai told me to try it before the tour in a camp (at Bengaluru) and it was difficult for me in the first three days. Later, I got better, consistent and comfortable. Earlier, people used to tell me that I bowl on the legs from side of the crease and that percentage has been cut down.
On working under the new coach-captain combination of Kumble-Kohli:
The team has gelled well under Virat. Players have been supporting each other. Anil bhai is focusing more on Test cricket. He has immense experience and we learn a lot from him. He makes us understand his plans. I hope we get better in the coming days.
On whether he would like to play County cricket in England:
I feel like playing County, but I don’t get time as I keep making comebacks in ODIs after one or two series. From the time I made my Test debut five years ago, I have matured to a level where I understand the game situation well and bowl accordingly. My focus is to rectify mistakes, learn from bad times and improve. I never hesitate to talk to others on how to improve. As I have age on my side, I want to play as many matches and bowl as fast as I can. The focus is, however, on bowling fast with great control. Sometimes, situation demands lesser pacer and sometimes I get tempted to bowl in 150kmph.
On his plans for the upcoming home season:
I want to be injury free. The season is going to be long with 13 Test matches, so fitness is of paramount importance. I want to play a part in India’s win and would be happy If I take 15-16 wickets in three matches (against New Zealand). It will all depend on the kind of wickets we will get. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor are their most experienced batsmen so it is important to take their wicket early.
On pink-ball cricket:
A couple of years ago, during the IPL, we tried Kookaburra colour balls — green red and pink. It deteriorated fast. So, I am not sure how pink ball will behave in a day/night Test in India. Red balls swing as long as you maintain it well; it can reverse later for fast bowler. White ball loses shine after some time so it doesn’t swing late into the match. Apart from this, I don’t find any other major difference....