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IPL 2018: Umesh Yadav keeps it simple for Royal Challengers Bangalore, reaps rewards

Royal Challengers Bangalore seamer Umesh Yadav says he wanted to keep it simple and bowl fast after his match winning bowling spell against the Kings XI Punjab in IPL on Friday.

cricket Updated: Apr 14, 2018 11:39 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Bangalore
Umesh Yadav,Kings XI Punjab,IPL 2018
Royal Challengers Bangalore Umesh Yadav successfully appeals for the LBW for wicket of Aaron Finch of Kings XI Punjab during the IPL 2018 match at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday. (PTI)

Umesh Yadav’s three wickets in an over derailed Kings XI Punjab’s hopes of posting a big total and reversing the trend of games being won by teams that have opted to chase a total in the Indian Premier League this season.

His sensational early spell and his fourth over strikes to dismiss Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch and Yuvraj Singh helped Royal Challengers Bangalore pull back the innings, giving skipper Virat Kohli more freedom to use his five-man bowling attack.

The 30-year-old, who has taken five wickets in RCB’s first two matches, says his success in IPL 2018 has been essentially down to keeping things simple, bowling fast and straight.

“I’ve been trying too many variations, so I was giving away too many runs,” Umesh Yadav, named Man-of-the-Match after the four-wicket win at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday, said at the presentation ceremony.

“Here, I wanted to keep it simple. That’s what Ashish Nehra (bowling coach) and Virat Kohli told me. They told me to attack the stumps and bowl fast, and don’t bother too much about variations. I tried my best to bowl the hard lengths and bowl into the wicket.”

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POINT TO PROVE

After a highly productive 2016-17 season when he bowled fast on slow pitches at home and provided breakthroughs with the new ball and old, he lost his limited-overs spot. The South Africa tour saw Jasprit Bumrah get a go ahead of him in the three-Test series, and once the youngster clicked, there was no opening for Umesh Yadav.

However, he has come back strongly to give RCB the extra bowling edge. “I just backed myself and just practiced in the nets. I was bowling quick and at the stumps. I don’t worry about variations and keep it simple. This was slow (pitch); at Kolkata, back of a length (delivery) was kicking up.”

Umesh Yadav picked Yuvraj Singh’s wicket as his best. He fed one short delivery which the left-handed batsman dispatched to the square leg boundary and then bowled the next one well up to bowl him.

Virat Kohli was happy to put away a victory, that too at home, after RCB managed just one win at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in IPL 2017.

“I’m very happy. The first home game is always crucial. We were decent in the first game (loss to KKR) and we improved on it. We knew the new ball will come on nicely. Then the bowlers showed composure. Umesh took three wickets and blocked the momentum.

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“Credit to Umesh, Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes, and Kulwant Khejroliya. Once you have five bowlers, you can pick and choose later.”

However, the RCB innings wasn’t without wobbles though a modest target of 156, and AB de Villiers’ progressive attacking knock saw them through.

Kohli, whose team is still searching for an IPL title, said improvement was needed if they are to end that wait.

“We lost two wickets in two balls in the last two games,” he said. Against KKR, AB de Villiers and Kohli fell off successive deliveries and on Friday Quinton de Kock and Sarfaraz Khan fell to leave R Ashwin on a hattrick. “We need to string partnerships and losing quick wickets puts you behind the eight ball,” he said at the presentation ceremony.

First Published: Apr 14, 2018 08:26 IST