Fast bowler Umesh Yadav continued his ascendancy as someone capable of providing breakthrough for the Indian cricket team even on unhelpful home pitches to peg back Bangladesh cricket team on the third day of the first Test on Saturday. (Day 3 highlights)
Umesh made up for the subdued showing by spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, bowling consistently and at over 140 kph to make life miserable for the Bangladesh top order batsmen. (Scorecard)
After Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim fought to keep his team in the game until stumps, all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan praised Umesh, calling his spell the best he has faced in his career.
Swing and control
Umesh bowled three overs from the Shivlal Yadav end before being switched by Virat Kohli to the VVS Laxman end to exploit reverse swing.
The move clicked as he removed Mominul Haque with a full-pitched delivery that moved. He beat the bat regularly on a good pitch.
India batting coach Sanjay Bangar said though all the three pacers can reverse the ball, Umesh’s pace and the length he bowled made it more effective.
“Umesh worked a lot on his wrist (position) and balance on the crease. Ever since the Delhi Test against South Africa (in Dec, 2015), you’ve seen him make the breakthroughs the team requires.
“His length allows him to swing the new as well as old ball.”
It sowed the seeds of doubt in the minds of the batsmen, and once he got tired after being hit for a few boundaries by Shakib, Kohli brought on Ishant, who immediately got rid of Mahmudullah.
Umesh had also provided important breakthroughs during the recent series against England.
Bangar said pacers have begun to play a key role in Tests in India. “The reason for many of our Test victories is not only the contribution of spinners, but the small, small contributions the fast bowlers have made. That’s why someone like Umesh stands out because I believe he’s the most improved bowler in the last season-and-a-half.”
Spinners, Kohli’s main men at home, couldn’t build on the work put in by the pacemen, although the well-set Shakib fell to Ashwin after playing a rash shot and Sabbir Rahman missed the line trying to slog sweep Jadeja to be trapped in front.