‘As a fast bowler, I need to have a clear mind about what my priorities are’, says Umesh Yadav

Image courtesy of: Times of India

“Cutting down on pace never ever crossed my mind”

India pace bowler Umesh Yadav has been struggling with a stress reaction in his back as of late and revealed that he needs to “have a clear mind about what my priorities are”.

Yadav revealed that he has refused to cut down on his pace, despite reports stating that it was the reason behind his devastating back injury, which kept him out of the game from November last year till June.

“As a fast bowler, I need to have a clear mind about what my priorities are,” he told PTI. “My strength is to bowl consistently at a good pace and that will always be my aim as long as I play for the national team.

“If I have been selected in the Indian team to play across all formats, it is because I have the sheer pace more than anything else.”

Yadav sustained his back injury during the first Test against England in Ahmedabad last November and returned to international cricket in June, where he failed to have much of an impact throughout the Champions Trophy.

However, the 25-year-old will play a crucial role in India’s tour of South Africa at the end of the year and during their tour of New Zealand next January as well.

Yadav admitted that his road to recovery had been a long and painful one, but at no point throughout that time did he ever consider reducing the speed of his bowling.

“Even when I got injured last season, cutting down on pace never ever crossed my mind,” he said. “Agreed, when you come back, your body asks you a few questions but you should always stick to doing what you do best.”

The 25-year-old also believes that batsmen have an advantage while facing pace bowlers, but added that it is key for fast bowlers to stick to their strengths.

“Tell me what new [variation] can a bowler bring to the table apart from what we have seen so far? Whether it is the back-of-the-hand slower delivery or a change in pace, there’s nothing new that the batsmen can’t counter,” he said. “So it’s more important that we do any one thing consistently.

“I have a natural outswinger and if I can bowl four to five of them at 140 kmph plus every over, I would be satisfied with my effort.”

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