The Indian Cricket Board announced the inclusion of seamer Umesh Yadav in the Indian team for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Australia. Yadav was brought in place of Mohammed Shami, who tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the series. Yadav’s inclusion in the squad surprised many as the speedster last played a T20I in 2019.
Yadav commented on his comeback in an interview with journalist Vimal Kumar. The 34-year-old said that he was doing well in the nets but no one was aware of that. He added that people understood his value when he arrived at Kolkata Franchise ahead of the Indian T20 League 2022 and scripted a memorable season.
“I did not play any white-ball cricket after playing for Bangalore in Indian T20 League 2020. I was doing well, practising well, but I did not get the chance. Uske pehle kisiko pata hi nehi tha (No one was aware of how I was doing in the nets). Everyone got to see how well I was doing when I got a chance with Kolkata in Indian T20 League 2022. People got to understand that I was not just relaxing in the off-season,” he said.
Yadav had a great outing for the Kolkata franchise earlier this year in the Indian T20 League. He bagged 16 scalps in 12 matches at an average of 21.19 and a brilliant economy of 7.06.
“You could say that I was lucky, because not many matches were happening in India because of the rain, so got lucky with the Middlesex offer. I knew that only practicing and not playing any matches won’t amount to anything. When you play, your body remains in that environment, your muscles stay loose and you are more agile. I was enjoying my county stint, the weather in England is good,” he added.
The 34-year-old has represented India in seven T20Is where he has picked up nine wickets at an average of 24 and an economy of 8.76. In his 12-year-long career, Yadav has only played seven matches in the format due to his habit of leaking runs in limited-overs cricket. The Vidarbha player has always been trolled for his expensive bowling spells in the Indian T20 League.
Having made a great comeback in the cash-rich league this year, Yadav will look to grab the opportunity presented to him and shut his critics with his performance.