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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014
Umesh Yadav confident of hitting peak form
Anand Sachar, Hindustan Times
Hyderabad, May 04, 2013
First Published: 03:00 IST(4/5/2013)
Last Updated: 03:02 IST(4/5/2013)

Umesh Yadav did not seem keen to slug it out with the ball during the Delhi Daredevils' nets at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Friday.

He joked with his teammates and played his part in the customary fielding drills. The right-arm pacer only lined up for a bowl when the practice session was into the last half hour.

No, it was not a laidback or an unfit Umesh on show. Instead, the blame must fall on the weather gods. The temperature in the mid-40s, it was like an oven. And considering his frequent visits to the physio's table, it was a smart move to not over-bowl in the sweltering heat.

When he finally steamed in with ball in hand, he played some chin music for the young Unmukt Chand. After a couple of quick bouncers, he bowled a fast delivery aimed at Mahela Jayawardene's toes.

Umesh reaffirmed how important he is to India's cause in the forthcoming season - with a host of foreign tours lined up. India kick-start the season with the Champions Trophy in England and end it with tours to South Africa and New Zealand in early 2014.

Apart from the batsmen's inability to cope with the moving and rising ball, it has been the absence of genuine pacers that has hurt India the most. This is where a fit Umesh comes in.

After not being a part of the World T20 squad in September, Umesh injured his back during the Tests against England. It kept him out for four months, during which he missed the one-day Internationals against England and Pakistan and the Australia Tests.

At the start of T20 League, Umesh made an immediate impact by picking up four wickets against the Rajasthan Royals in his second game. But he went off the boil after that.

With the team back to winning ways, Umesh's toe crushers made a return in the last two games. With 13 wickets, he is the team's highest wicket-taker.

Umesh is confident of plugging any loopholes in his bowling. "I was coming back from an injury, so it was not easy," he explained ahead of his team's game against Hyderabad.


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