IND vs AUS: Rohit Sharma Reveals Why Umesh Yadav Was Selected After 3 Years

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IND vs AUS: Rohit Sharma Reveals Why Umesh Yadav Was Selected After 3 Years

Rohit Sharma Umesh Yadav

More than three years after his last T20I, senior pacer Umesh Yadav has been given another shot in white-ball cricket for India when the 34-year-old has been called up to India’s squad for the upcoming T20I series against Australia as a replacement of Mohammed Shami, who has been ruled out due to covid-19.

Umesh’s recall surprised many, but according to skipper Rohit Sharma, this was hardly a topic of debate among the management and selectors that whether Yadav should be given a chance again because he hasn’t played a T20I since February 2019.

“Guys like Umesh, Shami, who have been bowling for a long time. They do not need to be playing a format to be considered,” Rohit Sharma said on Sunday.

“They have proven themselves as players in whichever format they have played. We understand the quality, it is the new guys on whom it will depend whether they have played this format or not. But guys like Umesh and Shami, if they are fit and fine, they will be called back.”

Rohit pointed out that Yadav was bowling superbly during the IPL 2022, especially in the powerplay: the Kolkata Knight Riders seamer finished the IPL 2022 with 16 wickets - 8 of which were in the powerplay itself - at an economy rate of 7.06. He has recent form behind him as well, having topped the charts for Middlesex - with 16 wickets in 7 games - in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Umesh Yadav
Image Source - Aaj Tak

Sharma asserted that Yadav’s form in the IPL 2022 was enough to get the attention of his and the selectors, and even reckoned Yadav is in the scheme of things of the T20 World Cup - although Yadav is not even in the reserves, injury to one or more pacers could see him tour Australia as well.

“We don’t need to look at their form, we saw how Umesh bowled in the IPL. He bowled really well, he swings the ball, bowls fast. That was the thought, pretty simple actually. It was not much of a discussion for us. Keeping in mind World Cup is around the corner, we have tried a lot of players. We are very much clear in our thought process and how we want to move forward,” Sharma explained.

What about other young pacers? Is Umesh Yadav ahead of Siraj, Avesh and Prasidh in the pecking order?

Sharma stated that due to various reasons, these three pacers were not available. Explaining why Umesh was selected over young seamers, Rohit said, “There were few options, but few of them are injured like Prasidh (Krishna). Siraj is playing county, we do not want him to fly all the way, maybe play one or two games. That won’t be fair. Obviously, Shami, unfortunate incident with him. Avesh was quite sick in the Asia Cup and he needs some time to recover. From fitness point of view, he needed some time and rebuild his fitness. All those things were considered.”

The first T20I against Australia will be played on Tuesday in Mohali; the next two T20Is, on Friday and Sunday, are to be held in Nagpur and Hyderabad.

India squad for T20Is against Australia:

Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.