PUNE: Umesh Yadav was named in this Indian squad to face South Africa as a replacement for the injured Jasprit Bumrah. Although he was part of the squad for West Indies tour, he did not get a game. The last Test he played was in December 2018 in Perth. He knows he isn’t the first name on the team sheet.
“This is part and parcel of the game, so these situations will keep coming but what I need to do in these situations is, even if I am not playing, I have to be ready for my chance,” Yadav, 31, said after the match.
“For that, it is important to remain focussed and positive. I try that in matches that I play, (be it) Ranji or India ‘A’, it gives me good match time.”
So how does he manage to perform whenever he has been called upon? He has asked the selectors to select him for India ‘A’, or any other game.
“When I didn’t play in the Windies, the selectors put me in India ‘A’ but when there is a big gap with ODIs, T20s. I have only told selectors that whatever match is there, please let me play, as match practice is very important for me.”
“The season is yet to start, so I cannot play Ranji, so I told them I would like to play. When you play matches, you are in that mindset and it helps. Suddenly, you come from home and play a match, it can be a tad difficult as a fast bowler,” he said before adding that the Indian pacer are doing an excellent job at the moment and there is healthy competition in the group.
At the end of third day’s play, the big question was, whether India would ask Proteas to follow-on or not, which they eventually did to win the Test by an innings and 137 runs.
On Saturday, Ashwin had said that the captain would take a call on the ‘follow-on’ decision, but, in fact, the bowlers insisted on asking the visitors to continue batting.
“All bowlers said that we are ready, if follow-on is enforced as we didn’t feel the need to rest. It was an intent to win and not like let’s bat a bit and stretch the game,” Yadav said, elaborating on what the team strategy was.