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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Zaheer Khan’s presence will help: Umesh Yadav

Along with veteran India pacer Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav has made his way back into the national Test squad for the much-awaited tour of South Africa. The nine-Test-old bowler will be hoping to make an impactful comeback, much like the ones the senior left-arm pacer is known for. (Also Read: Zaheer Khan exudes confidence ahead of South Africa tour)
Before heading off to South Africa, Umesh will be playing against Zaheer at Wankhede Stadium in a four-day domestic Ranji Trophy match from November 28 to December 01. Although he last played a Test in November 2012 before being laid off due to injury, he has since played one Duleep Trophy match and two games in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season. Prior to that, the pacer had also played in the shorter formats of the game in tournaments like the Champions Trophy in England and in the Tri-nation series in the West Indies. (Also Read: India Squad for South Africa Series 2013)
While speaking to the media after practice at Wankhede Stadium, Umesh said that he was feeling better. “I played in the Duleep Trophy and Ranji, so I think this is good practice for me after the last couple of months. So, I think it is good for me and my fitness; I am happy.”
“Right now I am just bowling well and my rhythm is good, so I am feeling good. I am feeling better.”
“I will be getting back my rhythm the more I play,” he added.
Besides getting an opportunity to get match practice, he also gets to play against if not with India’s pace spearhead, Zaheer. The youngster took the opportunity to catch up with the senior pro. “We met after some time and we had a normal chat. He asked me how I am doing, enquired about my fitness and he too told me to concentrate on my line and length,” Umesh said about his interaction with Zaheer.
Speaking further about the significance of the game, he mentioned, “For every fast bowler, match practice is good. So, I also feel that if I play before going on the tour, it will be better for me. The kind of wicket (sporting track) this is (it is similar to South African tracks). SA also has bouncy wickets, so it would be good preparation and Zak Paa (Zaheer Khan) is also playing. So, I will get to learn by watching him as well; watching how he bowls, what he is doing with the ball. So, it is very important for me. And getting to play on a wicket here like this, before playing in SA, would be good for me.”
Umesh, who has been to SA before to play in the shorter format of the game, will have some idea about the conditions that await Team India there. Asked about what he would be expecting and how he is preparing, he said, “I am not thinking too much. Since I have got matches to play before going, I am concentrating on my line and length; that will be my preparation. The weather conditions there are different, wickets are different. So, my mental preparations will be to focus on an area and bowl – that is on three-quarters and outside the off-stump. So, that is what I am focusing on because that is what is important in Tests – bowling wicket-to-wicket is important.”


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