India fast bowler Umesh Yadav has advised youngsters vying for a place in the Indian squad have to be better than the current crop of players, who have sent high benchmarks.
“Most of the boys in this set-up, at least 7-8 have played 40 plus Tests. So, when the youngsters, who are coming up, see the kind of hard yards seniors are putting in, it’s not easy for them. They know that they need to get better than us to be in the side,” Umesh, who returned from the second Test against South Africa with a six-wicket haul, said after the match on Sunday.
Umesh savoured India’s innings and 137-run victory in the second Test but knows at the same time that he’s now not an automatic selection when Jasprit Bumrah returns.
“It’s not in my hands. I can’t say that I will play all Test matches. All the bowlers are doing well, there is a healthy competition and everyone will get their chances at some point or other. I am ready for that and that’s my mindset,” he said.
While he was away from the national set-up, Umesh spoke to the selectors and asked them to include him for the India A games.
“When I didn’t play in the West Indies, selectors put me in India A team for South Africa A series. But when there is a big gap with ODIs, T20s being played, I told the selectors that whatever match is there, let me play as match practice is very important for me. Suddenly, you come from home and play a match, it can be a tad difficult as a fast bowler,” he reasoned.
Meanwhile, Umesh lavished praise on Wriddhiman Saha, who took two brilliant catches in both innings of his bowling and especially the second down the leg side to dismiss Theunis de Bruyn.
“The catch that Wriddhi daa (Wriddhiman Saha) took was unbelievable. Even the catch that he took off Ash’s bowling while juggling 3-4 times, was commendable. He has taken many such catches off my bowling.
“He has an idea that I tend to drift towards leg-side at times. The manner in which he kept was brilliant,” said the bowler who has 125 wickets in 42 games.
Quizzed on whether the bowlers were up for the follow-on, Umesh said: “We bowled in short spells and we were not tired at all. All the bowlers said that we would like to go out there and finish the job. We didn’t want a break and let batsmen bat for some time and stretch it.”