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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014
For Umesh, the time to shine for India was now
Wasim Akram
May 30, 2014
First Published: 00:32 IST(30/5/2014)
Last Updated: 00:38 IST(30/5/2014)

The credit for KKR's journey to the final goes to Gautam Gambhir. He may not have scored many runs but his presence has made the difference.

Gauti is the only captain who goes for wickets and that is the best way of stop runs in this format. He can do so because he has the bowlers in Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla and Shakib al Hasan. The key is the 14th or 15th over, when he brings on the main bowlers unlike other captains.

Recalled to squad
On the back of this, I am not surprised that Gauti has been recalled to the Test squad. In England, the ball moves around and his expertise will be handy.

If I am disappointed it is on Umesh (Yadav) not making the squad. Here’s a guy who bowls consistently above 145 kmph, swings the ball at pace and bowls a good yorker.

Umesh is in the form of his life and no wonder he was disheartened after the match. He started off slowly in this IPL, but with time has done well.

My job over the next few days is to sit with Umesh and make him look at the positives and not get bogged down.

India are lucky that they are developing a good crop of fast bowlers where Varun (Aaron) and Umesh bowl with speed, (Mohd) Shami is picking wickets, then there is Bhuvi.

But the selectors need to know when to pick these guys. This was the time for Umesh, since he has been doing well.

Full of potential
Leaving that aside, we have a squad full of potential with someone like Jacques Kallis sitting out and still being supportive. The support staff has kept things simple. Short, crisp meetings and cricketing talk has been the focus.

Look at the way Robin Uthappa has come of age. He hits the ball out of the park at will and they are cricketing shots. We all knew he was talented. Now he is delivering on the potential and that’s the reason he is back in the India ODI squad.

Come Sunday, all will be focused on regaining the title, but in T20 cricket it is difficult to predict anything.

The writer is KKR mentor


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