Umesh Yadav has revealed that picking up the wickets of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in his five-wicket spell during the 2008-09 Duleep Trophy encounter between Central Zone and South Zone gave him confidence. He also added that prior to the clash, he was scared of bowling to the legendary duo.
A year before making his ODI debut, Vidarbha’s Umesh Yadav already made rounds on the domestic circuit, thanks to his pace and accuracy. However, his biggest test before his Indian debut was in the 2009 Duleep Trophy encounter between Central Zone and South Zone. A day before the encounter, the pacer was given the news that he had to bowl against the duo of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
The duo had already established themselves in the Indian lineup under Sourav Ganguly. So when the pacer picked up both their wickets, he recalled the confidence that the two wickets gave him.
“I took a 5-wicket haul for South Zone and I got the big wickets of Dravid and Laxman. That gave me immense confidence,” the right-arm pacer said in an episode of Cricbuzz’s Youtube chat show Spicy Pitch.
He also revealed how before the clash, he was scared of the two Indian batsmen, who formed the crux of South India’s batting lineup. Alongside that, the Vidarbha pacer also picked up the wickets of Arjun Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Laxmipathy Balaji. In the second innings too, he picked up a wicket, rounding his match figures to 6/164.
“When I went to play the Duleep Trophy match and got to know the team I would be playing against and I would be bowling against the likes of (Rahul) Dravid and (VVS) Laxman - I was terrified. I had never imagined that I would bowl such a fine spell under such a pressure situation,” he concluded.
“Difficult hai Bhai, aisa question mat puchho (laughs),” Umesh said.