Come the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday and Umesh Yadav will have begun his second season in Team Indias colours. While building on the first seasons hype has cost many a fast bowler their early auras,Yadav firmly believes that he will experience an even better year than the previous one,thanks to the long and timely break. In a chat with The Indian Express,the tearaway talks about the upcoming season,learning tricks from Morne Morkel and his carefree approach. Excerpts.
It must have been pleasing for a fast bowler like you to get a long break?
Yes it was. Such breaks are not only welcome,they are important to rejuvenate a fast bowlers body. I spent many relaxing days at home before restarting my fitness regimen again. I want to now build on my performances from the last season and ensure that I improve as a bowler and a cricketer in the coming months. Sri Lanka wont be an easy tour for us pacers,as the conditions here are known to help the spinners.
Sri Lanka obviously is worlds apart from Australia where you last played international cricket…
The wickets I played on in Australia had a lot of bounce. It will be a tougher challenge to bowl on these sub-continental tracks,especially because of the limited carry. The best thing will be to bowl on a good length area and around the off-stump and try to move the ball away. Sticking to one line consistently will perhaps be the key.
The last time you were here,you were pretty much a net bowler. How does it feel to be a key member this time?
That was two years ago. Jaydev Unadkat and I flew to Sri Lanka,and we bowled during practice sessions before being sent back home within a week. Now Im a playing member of the team,and I have already got a considerable taste of fame and money. Its been quite a rapid rise,with the IPL of course playing its significant part.
Speaking of the IPL,how much did you benefit from bowling alongside Morne Morkel?
Morkel and I had many discussions about what I require to rise up to the next level. He insisted that keeping it simple,and repeatedly targeting one particular area on the pitch was the first step. The most important thing I learnt was that there is no one way of picking up wickets.
How do you hope to cope with Indias hectic schedule this season?
Fitness will be the key. I want to contribute as much I can for the Indian teams cause this season. And Im looking forward to the challenge of playing a lot of Tests on home soil.
How has the experience of partnering Zaheer Khan been for you so far?
He has been a constant source of support. He tells me not to worry when Im hit for a boundary. Zaheer bhai shares with me his early experiences. Every bowler has to pass through good and bad times,thats the only way to learn. Unless you make mistakes you will never improve,and thats Zaheers main lesson to me. Its not just me,he makes a world of difference to the entire bowling unit.