IPL 2018: Umesh Yadav fires Royal Challengers Bangalore’s rounded outlook
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IPL 2018: Umesh Yadav fires Royal Challengers Bangalore’s rounded outlook

Umesh Yadav is delivering the goods for Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have boosted their bowling attack to go with their awesome batting line-up. His triple strike left Kings XI Punjab reeling in Friday’s IPL 2018 game.

cricket Updated: Apr 13, 2018 22:44 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Bangalore
IPL 2018,Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab,Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav, front, appeals successfully for the wicket of Aaron Finch during the 2018 Indian Premier League Twenty20 match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday. (AP)

As India lost a close Test series in South Africa early this year, the one surprise omission was Umesh Yadav, India’s stock and shock fast bowler not getting a chance once Jasprit Bumrah made a big first impression. (RCB vs KXIP HIGHLIGHTS)

Umesh Yadav after all had been so consistent bowling on slow home pitches in the 2016-17 season as Virat Kohli’s Test team largely dominated during that phase. However, Umesh Yadav has quickly put that disappointment behind him. (RCB vs KXIP SCORES)

On Friday, as Kings XI Punjab opener KL Rahul threatened to lead the visitors to a big total, Umesh Yadav proved his class. The 30-year-old ripped through the top order with three wickets in one over – Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch and Yuvraj Singh – to leave R Ashwin’s team struggling to cobble together a defendable total.

The 30-year-old, who took 3/23 after another impressive spell (2/27) against his previous team Kolkata Knight Riders to provide RCB their lone bowling bright spot in that defeat at Eden Gardens, shook KXIP with pace and precision, ensuring RCB’s strong start in their first home game at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

His dismissal of Agarwal was a reward for switching to a good length and letting the ball do a bit, before trapping Finch and cleaning up Yuvraj after going around the wicket. He had reeled in KXIP in one over.

Not playing a Test on pacy South Africa would have hurt, but Umesh returned to feature in Vidharbha’s Vijay Hazare Trophy victory. And his hunger for success shone through on Friday.

RCB’s struggles last year saw them win just one game at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in IPL 2017. With their batting not up to mark with Virat Kohli missing most of the season due to injury, the franchise realized they had to bolster their bowling attack.

And Umesh Yadav is proving he can be the spearhead RCB can depend on. The bowler had overcome injury woes early in his career and had been a picture of consistency during the 2016-17 season. On Friday, he took charge after Chris Woakes pitched it too short to go for 16 runs in the first over and had Kulwant Khejroliya providing good support at the other end.

And RCB will be patting themselves in the back for netting the man who can deliver with the new or old ball, sheer pace or clever variations.

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 20:41 IST