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Umesh Yadav wins Glenn McGrath’s praise for cricket workload management

Umesh Yadav had a stellar home season where he finished with 30 wickets in 12 Tests in the long home season. Australian bowling great Glenn McGrath is impressed with the pacer’s fitness

cricket Updated: Jul 26, 2017 13:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Glenn McGrath,Umesh Yadav,Indian cricket team
Glenn McGrath had words of praise for Indian cricket team fast bowler Umesh Yadav.(AFP)

Five years ago, when the Indian team toured Australia for the Test series in 2011-12, one fast bowler who made the former Australian pace great Glenn McGrath sit up and take notice was Umesh Yadav.

Glenn McGrath was impressed with his raw pace and attitude when he bowled in the first Test at the MCG where he claimed seven wickets even as he often strayed in his line and length. Umesh Yadav was just playing his third Test then.

Cut to 2017, Umesh Yadav has played 28 more Tests, claiming 88 wickets with a strike rate of 59.7. And Glenn McGrath’s is not surprised.

Umesh Yadav during net practice on the eve of India’s second ODI cricket match against New Zealand at Ferozshah Kotla ground in New Delhi on October 19, 2016. ( Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO )

Umesh Yadav had a stellar home season where he finished with 30 wickets in 12 Tests in the long home season. However, what is most striking is that he bowled the most number of overs compared to other Indian pacers without getting injured. That speaks volumes of Umesh Yadav’s vast improvement in workload management.

READ | India vs Sri Lanka: Challenge for Virat Kohli-led side will come from within

“I always say being fit is not so much about how long you can bowl. It is about how quickly you recover, and as we get older we get to know ourselves better.

“I think that has helped Umesh and he is bowling well with confidence, but a fast bowler needs an off season. If you keep bowling whole year without an offseason and bowl next year, sooner or later injuries are going to creep in.

“You got to have a break to put that strength and fitness back in. Indian bowlers are going well and he (Yadav) knows how to recover and when you know that, you got fewer chances of injuries,” said McGrath, who, with the MRF Pace Foundation, will conduct a two-day bowling camp with Mumbai bowlers at the BKC indoor academy.

“Umesh Yadav is bowling really well at the moment. He is up match after match. He is little bit older than what was a couple of years ago, he is also a lot more experienced...and he knows, (or) he should know, how to prepare himself, how to recover,” he added.

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While fast bowlers around the world are frequently breaking down despite workload management processes and latest fitness techniques, Umesh Yadav is a rarity for remaining injury-free in the entire home season.

Umesh Yadav of India celebrates the wicket of Matthew Wade of Australia during day one of the first Test match between India and Australia in Pune on Feb 23, 2017. ( BCCI )

“That’s the thing even in Australia and all over the world, fast bowlers get injured, it is such a tough part of the sport. It’s an unnatural thing, they say, to run and bowl fast, and that puts stress on the body.

“Everyone wants to bowl fast, I wanted to bowl fast, but no one is express. To be express is a unique thing. To bowl at 140-150 kmph is something very unique. It is raw talent, you can’t teach that,” said McGrath.

“Express bowlers are very rare and I’m always on the lookout for one. India is probably the toughest place in the world to be a fast bowler, but that plays a part. But, as I said, (bowling) 150 plus (kmph) is rare,” he added.

Pay dispute needs quick resolution

McGrath also had his say on the ongoing pay dispute in Australia, saying that it is a shame how the dispute involving Australian cricketers has dragged on and hoped for a quick resolution to the long-running issue.

According to reports, Australia’s senior players have voted to boycott next month’s tour of Bangladesh unless their long-running pay dispute with Cricket Australia (CA) is settled before they leave.

“It’s bit of a shame where it is headed at the moment. Hopefully, they can sought things out fairly quickly so that the boys can get back to playing, fans can enjoy. We have got a tour of Bangladesh and a ODI tour series (in India). Hopefully, they get it sorted out quickly,” McGrath told reporters here when asked about the issue.

READ | Steve Smith, David Warner in favour of boycotting Bangladesh series: Reports

The former Australian speedster is here as part of MRF Pace Foundation to conduct a two-day Coaching Programme for Mumbai Cricket Association for their Ranji, Under 23 and Under 19 category of fast bowlers.

The players are entering their fourth week of unemployment since the failure to reach a new agreement on pay at the end of June.

As per reports, the squad voted to attend the training camp in Darwin on August 10 but will not leave for Bangladesh a week later unless an agreement is reached.

The dispute is over CA’s refusal to renew a revenue- sharing arrangement which has been part of all deals over the past two decades.

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 17:31 IST

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