Even Indians can bowl quick consistently: Yadav
Ahmedabad, Nov18: Very rarely do we see the words ‘Fastest ball of the match’ written opposite an Indian bowler’s name in a game against countries like Australia, South Africa and England. But such an event occurred on the fourth day of the first Test between India and England thanks to Umesh Yadav.
When asked about it, Yadav proudly said, “People always say that India doesn’t have genuine fast bowlers. But now they will know that even India has bowlers who can breach the 140kmph mark consistently.”
Besides being faster than the likes of Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Tim Bresnan, Yadav also dismissed Ian Bell and Samit Patel off consecutive deliveries. His 2 for 61 are already the best innings figures by a pacer from either country in this Test so far. And had he not been up against a very well-set Alastair Cook, who knows, Yadav could’ve had a hat-trick.
It was also the first day of the match where the pacers picked more wickets (three) than the spinners (Ojha picked two). After a relatively tough day in the field for India, which yielded five wickets for 229 runs, Yadav spoke about his bowling rhythm today and credited the England batsmen for coming out with an improved strategy after succumbing for 191 in the first innings.
Was this the best day for the fast bowlers in this Test so far?
Zak bhai (Zaheer Khan) and I bowled well today and got the ball to reverse a bit, which benefitted us on the day. The spinners bowled well too but it seemed like suddenly the ball had stopped turning and the wicket had gone flat. It was good for the team that the spinners didn’t pick the wickets, the fast bowlers did.
What was on your mind when you ran in to bowl the hat-trick ball to Alastair Cook?
I had no plan as such because the ball wasn’t doing anything in the air or off the pitch. All I thought was that I’ll hit the ball on the right length. I did it and it was a good ball as well but Alastair Cook was batting beautifully. Since he was batting for a long time, he could negotiate the ball. Had Matt Prior, who was new at the wicket, been on strike, maybe there could’ve been a chance.
As a fast bowler, when, before the match itself you know that the wicket will now assist you, with what mindset do you go in?
If we know from the beginning that the wicket is going to be slow and flat and there will be no assistance for us from it, all we concentrate on is accuracy. If try not to give too many runs and bowl wicket to wicket. That’s what even Zak bhai told me before this game.
Today you bowled the fastest ball of the match so far, crossing the 147kmph mark. How much more effort does it take to bowl those on a wicket as slow as this one?
When you know that the wicket is slow, you have to put in double the effort. On fast wickets, you can bowl 140-plus just by being in rhythm. But honestly, today I didn’t even realise that I bowled at 147 kmph. Probably because I was in a good rhythm, I didn’t feel the load.
It’s not often that an Indian fast bowler comes up with the fastest delivery when playing against pacers from other countries.
Yes, people always say that India doesn’t have genuine fast bowlers. But now they will know that even India has bowlers who can scale the 140kmph mark consistently.
What change in strategy did you notice in England’s batting in the second innings?
I felt that in the second innings they have been very compact and are just looking to get to the line of the ball. They were a bit more ambitious in the first innings – Ian Bell got out first ball trying to hit out. After batting one innings, they realised what was better for them and I thought they batted really well in the second innings.
What role have Eric Simons and TA Sekar played in your growth as a bowler?
They have played a big role. Whenever I play for the Delhi Daredevils, they keep a close watch on me and keep helping me improve. I’m very close to Eric because he was my first coach when I first played for India on Zimbabwe tour. TA Sekar sir has been watching me since my early days. He knows exactly what my style is and what problems I could face.
Did TA Sekar also bring about a slight change in your action in 2009?
I had an awkward action, as in, my left arm movement was a bit odd and my body twisted too much. I didn’t have the hold that normally fast bowlers do. Sekar sir taught me how the body position and action should be.
Did he also ask you to bowl with an angle rather than straight?
I used to run in too straight from the wicket. He suggested that since I have a side-arm action, it would be better if I ran a bit away from the wicket and thus create an angle. That way the ball will land on the right line, that of the off-stump. I tried it and it worked for me.