Test cricket remains priority for Umesh Yadav



‘I really like playing Test cricket’ © BCCI

Umesh Yadav played all but one of India’s 13-Test home season of 2016-17. By March, he was arguably India’s most improved performer in the five-day format, an integral part to their rise to the top of the Test rankings. The taxing home stretch followed by a Champions Trophy campaign and an ODI series in Windies took a toll as Umesh mostly bowled within himself in the Sri Lanka Tests.

The selectors subsequently rested him (and Shami) for the limited-overs leg of the Sri Lanka series before bringing them back for the home series against Australia. Umesh’s returned to the playing XI only in the fourth ODI at Bengaluru after the series had been won when Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasrpit Bumrah could be rested.

Umesh was understandably under-cooked in Bengaluru, despite picking up four wickets. His 10 overs cost India 71 runs and a chance to contain Australia to a score under 330. The 29-year-old Umesh understands that he may not be the first choice in the 50-over format and is happy to play to evolve as a Test specialist.

“For me, one-dayers keep happening,” Umesh said on the eve of the Nagpur ODI. “I really like playing Test cricket. It feels good to play Test cricket because you have time. You have various situations. I like those challenges. I like the fact that pitches are different and want to take wickets on various surfaces. When you take wickets, you confidence also increases and you become accurate. You understand how to bowl on different wickets. I’m more than happy to play Test cricket.

“One-dayers, it so happens that you have less time. You try hard and give your 100 percent but still… If you play both formats, it’s good for you. If I play both formats, I know it will be good for me. I’m of an age where the more cricket I play, it’s good for me. I shouldn’t regret later on that I focused only one format. I would love to play all the…

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