IND vs AUS | Umesh did well in the practice match, should play the first Test as third pacer, believes Mohammed Kaif

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Mohammed Kaif bats for Umesh Yadav's inclusion in the setup


IND vs AUS | Umesh did well in the practice match, should play the first Test as third pacer, believes Mohammed Kaif

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SportsCafe Desk


Mohammed Kaif, ahead of the series, has stated that Umesh Yadav’s performance in the practice match should tip his case as the third pacer for the first Test that starts in Adelaide. He also reckoned that Umesh will provide Kohli with a variation in terms of bowling long spells with pace.

Umesh Yadav’s performance Down Under has never been a revelation but his pace and consistent lines that could trouble the batsmen have been a hallmark of the new age Indian pace attack. In the absence of experienced Ishant Sharma, the Indian management are forced to make a decision regarding their third pacer going into the first Test against Australia this week. 

After an impressive spell of pace bowling in the first warm-up game, the debate regarding the third pacer has been tilted in Umesh’s favour. However, with Mohammed Siraj performing well in the second warm-up game, the Vidarbha pacer’s place is still not assured. Former Indian batsman-now-turned commentator Mohammed Kaif believes that the right-arm pacer’s performance in the first practise game is enough for India to play him in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval. 

“For me, it will be Umesh Yadav because Ishant Sharma is not there who had played an important role when India won the series last time. He had gelled very well with Shami and Bumrah, the three fast bowlers plus Ashwin plus Vihari part-time off-spin. Ishant Sharma was bowling with the new ball,” Kaif said on the Sony Sports Network, reported HT.

During his time Down Under, Umesh has picked up 27 wickets against Australia - majority of which came during the 2011/12 and 2013/14 series. Alongside that, his experience in the Indian colours, Kaif believes, will tilt the selection in his favour, having troubled the Australian batsmen in the past.  

“Umesh did well in the practice match. So, he can be a good replacement. He has been erratic at times but he has played 45-46 Test matches. He has the experience and has toured Australia previously,” Kaif added.

In terms of the bowling attack, Kaif reckoned that the management should go with Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh and Ravichandran Ashwin, with Hanuma Vihari doubling-up as the fifth bowler. 

“He has the build, he is known for his fitness, he can bowl the long spells as well and will not get injured or unfit. That is also a plus point with him. So, according to me India should go with Mohammed Shami, Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Ashwin in the first Test match.”

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