Umesh Yadav: England could have done better than 268 for 8

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Umesh Yadav: England could have done better than 268 for 8

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SportsCafe Desk


Pacer Umesh Yadav has said that England could have done better than their Day 1 score of 268 for 8 given the Indian spinners were not getting enough turn on the Mohali wicket. Umesh also gave credit to coach Anil Kumble and Sanjay Bangar for helping him become a better bowler.

Despite winning the toss, England couldn’t cash in on that as they lost eight wickets for 268 by the end of the first day of the third Test between India and England at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. Although skipper Alastair Cook and prodigious opener Haseeb Hameed showed early promise, Indian bowlers struck back really well to reduce them to 92/4 at lunch. Had it not been a valiant 89 runs from wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow, things could have been much worse for the visitors. 

Reflecting on the day’s performance, pacer Umesh Yadav, who picked up two wickets conceding only 58 runs, said that England could have done much better than where they are at now.

He said, “Normally, the toss is a factor but it also depends on how you bowl. Planning and execution of plans by bowlers and fielders is as important as winning the toss. I think England could have done better than 268 for 8 as the spinners are not getting enough turn. It’s easy to play the spinners. I think the score could have been better, although it’s okay as it stands.”

Given the Indian winter provides some early assistance to pacers, Umesh and his new-ball partner Mohammed Shami hit the right length time and again to trouble the English players.

“It’s a bit cold and there was some moisture in the wicket,” said Umesh. “The ball was moving. It’s not that if the wicket is flat, the new ball won’t swing. The new ball will swing if you have faith. Me and Shami know that we can swing it till the ball is new, for 10-12 overs. We were trying to bowl in the outside-the-off-stump channel from where we were getting our out-swingers. There is good carry in the pitch also at good pace.

“The wicket hasn’t changed much. Some balls may have gone up and down, but I think the pace off the wicket is the same. It’s a bit difficult when the ball gets old as you won’t get pace and carry with the ball getting soft. That was a factor. But there is still something in the wicket.”

Speaking about his wicket-drought despite showing his incisive approach almost in every match, Umesh said, “I am improving day by day, with each match that I am playing. I talk to my coaches Anil Bhai (Kumble) and Sanjay Bhai (Bangar). Being pacy comes with a certain disadvantage too. If you don’t pitch it right, you will go for runs. They advise me to bowl in one particular area. My impact area is outside the off-stump, from where I can bowl my out-swingers and make the batsmen play a lot more.”

Indian fielders missed as many as four catches on the first day. Had they latched onto those chances that came their way, then the dice could heavily be rolled in favour of the hosts now. 

On being asked about those missed chances, Umesh said, “In cricket, it happens. Teammates will take brilliant catches and drop some easy ones. It’s part and parcel of the game. You can’t be disappointed as you have to try and create more chances. In cricket, you can’t grab every catch that comes your way. We have some of the best fielders in our side, and it (dropping catches) happens with all teams.”

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