Umesh Yadav has revealed that he doesn't see himself playing for more than 2 or 3 years, with a flurry of youngsters coming through. He also reflected on the increased competition in the Test side and stated that it's good for the workload of the pacers and is looking forward to the WTC finale.
Umesh Yadav has emerged as India's talisman in home Tests as he has dominated the red-ball scene with his raw pace and reverse swing. However, with time, he fell out of the limited-overs side. Also in Tests, he isn't among the first-choice pacers away from home, with Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami taking over the mantle. And now even for the role of back-up pacer away from home, bowlers like Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur have thrown up their hats in the ring and increased the level of competition that there is for places in the side.
Reflecting on his future, the senior Indian pacer revealed that he can mostly play for two-three more years. He also said that it's good to see competition for places in the team as it helps to manage the workload.
"I am 33 now and I know that I can mostly pull my body for another two or three years, and there will be some youngsters who will be arriving (to play). I feel this is just healthy, because it ultimately ends up benefiting the team," Umesh told ESPNcricinfo, reported TOI.
"When you have five or six fast bowlers on a tour of four or five Tests, you can play each one of them for two games to help reduce their stress and workload, so it helps that pack (of fast bowlers) play for longer."
The 33-year-old is one of the fittest bowlers in the country and considered an athletic fielder as well. His career had started off with Varun Aaron in the same home series against West Indies in 2011. They had both emerged as genuine quick pacers. While Aaron's body couldn't cope with the high pace, that hasn't been the case with Umesh as he has maintained his fitness and pace, over the years.
Umesh feels good to have had an injury-free career largely as he very well knows how difficult it is for pacers to recover who get regular injured.
"As far as the rest of my career is concerned, thank god that relatively I haven't had that many injuries. And that is satisfying as a fast bowler, because once a fast bowler starts getting injured (regularly), he tends to start struggling, which ultimately reduces his (playing) life.
"After an injury, there is the recovery, and then you need a rehab, which consumes a lot of time, which you can never get back. But I have lost very little time to injury periods, which has kind of helped me lengthen my career. So I haven't had to compromise a lot on my pace as well," he said.
India's next Test assignment will now be the World Test Championship finale against New Zealand after the culmination of the IPL. The fast bowler asserted that for players like him who mostly play Tests and not white-ball cricket, it's akin to the World Cup.
"We have worked really hard to get there, and with players like me who are not regulars in white-ball cricket, it is this that we consider our World Cup. If I am able to perform well in that match and we end up winning, being world champions will forever be a memory," he said.
He also remains confident of making it to the playing XI for the WTC finale.
"The match is in England, where swing and seam are important, so I definitely see myself in the playing XI for that game," he added.