Indian pace star Umesh Yadav revealed that the control he exercises over the leather ball now was a mammoth task that he accomplished after years of training. The 29-year old also recounted how difficult it was for him to get into the Indian team.
The Indian bowling attack has been spearheaded by spin bowlers for ages but it is all changing thanks to some sensational performances by Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Mohammed Shami who have perturbed the best of batsmen with their swing and pace.
Umesh Yadav has improved leaps and bounds in the recent past and has become India's go-to bowler in Tests as well as ODIs. The Vidharbha lad has the ability to swing the ball both ways and does not shy away from bending his back at times, making him a lethal fast bowler. However, it was not always the same and Yadav revealed he struggled with the leather ball initially owing to the fact that he played with the seasoned ball for the first time at the age of 20.
"When I started off, I used to play with tennis and rubber balls. So, I had a good idea on how to use it. But I found the leather ball hard to comprehend because I had started playing with it at an older age," Yadav told bcci.tv
"Initially for the first couple of years, I found the going very tough with the leather ball. Some balls would swing away while some would automatically swing in," he added.
The 29-year old has become a regular in the playing XI in all the three formats of the game because of his consistent performances in the team that saw him pick up 30 wickets in the 2016-17 season; he has followed it up 4 wickets in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka. However, the 29-year old revealed that it was an uphill task for him to break into the national squad.
"As I started growing up, I started to also get a fair idea as to what is the art of fast bowling. It wasn't very easy for me, considering from where I started. When I got the chance, I grabbed it with both hands and also realised I had the ability to do well," said Umesh.
"But my USP was pace. I always knew there are many who can bowl in the 130-135kph bracket. But I also knew that if you can consistently hit the 140kph mark, then you definitely you have something different and you will get an opportunity," he added.
Fitness is always a big factor that drastically affects the performance of a fast bowler and Umesh stressed the importance of fitness for a pace bowler which has helped him pick up 88 and 98 wickets in Tests and ODIs respectively.
"But as I started playing more, that is when I realised the importance of fitness. Also it was important to follow the schedule and the training routine. If you don't work on the recovery aspect, then it becomes very difficult as u can survive for a while, but after that your back starts becoming stiff, then your shoulder, hamstring and glute power," said the 29-year-old.
"The body might be naturally strong, but if you don't strengthen it, it starts collapsing after a point of time.
"So, as a fast bowler, whenever I get an opportunity, I work on recovery and strengthening myself. I know it is a must for me if I have to stay for long. Just like the engine needs oil, I need to train. If I don't do that, I won't be able to go the distance," he added.
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