Nagpur: India speedster Umesh Yadav today admitted that being a senior bowler he needs to perform better in the death overs if he has to consistently feature in the playing XI in the limited overs cricket.
The 29-year-old is a much-improved Test bowler than what he was a season ago but along with Mohammed Shami, he has fallen behind in the limited overs pecking order with Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuneshwar Kumar being the first choice pacers in the ongoing series against Australia. It is a home game for the Nagpur-born player and he would be hope to get a game despite leaking 71 runs in 10 overs in his first game of the series in Bengaluru. However, he did manage to pick up four wickets in the fourth ODI.
Yadav, speaking to media ahead of the fifth and final ODI, made no bones about his preference to play Tests before saying that he must improve in the other two formats.
“The team’s morale is good after the rare loss (in Bengaluru). I think we gave 15-20 runs extra. Shami and I played after a long time but we are senior players, we have to deliver on whatever the team needs from us. Shami and I have to take more responsibility in the death overs,” said Yadav.
About his preference for the longest format, he said: “I like playing Tests more (than ODIs). You get time in the longest format to execute plans. You have different situations over the course of the five days so I like that challenge. It makes you more confident and accurate. I am happier playing Tests.
“In ODIs, you don’t get enough time to execute your plans fully. But at this stage of my career, I can’t pick and choose. My thinking is that I should play in any format as long as I am getting the chance.”
Yadav said pick and choose over formats is only reasonable when the team is playing at least 15 to 20 Tests in a season.
“If there are lots of Test matches, then you have to choose. But you can’t say that you will play Tests only because there will be a time when there are not playing enough games in a season. What will you do in free time? The body needs match practice.”
Yadav played his first game in over a month on Thursday as he was rested for the ODI series in Sri Lanka following the Tests. He is liking how the management is taking care of pacers’ workload.
“It is good for the fast bowlers. If you play continuous Tests, it is a lot of load for the pacers. You are playing in sub-continent and it is very tough on the body. After that, it is hard for us to come back with the same intensity and play ODIs. So rest is a better option, it give you time to recover from niggles, that could otherwise keep you out of action for months,” he said.
He added that knowing your body well holds key to staying injury-free for a longer duration.
“As a fast bowler, you should know much you need to bowl in the free time after a long series. You have to know your body. In free time, I know how much I need to bowl and how my body is reacting,” he said.