Kohli backs Umesh Yadav to feature in Australia Test series


India captain Virat Kohli has backed fast bowler Umesh Yadav to feature prominently in the four-match Test series in Australia starting later this year.

Yadav took his maiden 10-wicket haul in Test cricket as he finished with match figures of 10-133 as India beat the West Indies by ten wickets to seal a 2-0 series whitewash on Sunday.

The 30-year-old, who has now played in 40 Tests, took a career-best 6-88 in the first innings and then 4-45 in the second as the home team routed the Windies in Hyderabad.

The India skipper now says Yadav is a strong contender to feature in the series in Australia that starts in Adelaide on 6 December.

Kohli said: “It’s good to have all guys confident and raring to go because four Tests in Australia can be brutal because the ball doesn’t do much like England.

“You have to come in and run in all day, bowl in the right areas, with pace. So I think from that point of view, Umesh is right up there to be featuring in Australia because he’s got the pace.

“He’s got the fitness levels to run in all day to pick us wickets at crucial times and he gets good bounce as well.

“Not many people realise but he’s a very, very talented bowler. He can bowl you unplayable deliveries every now and then. He’ll bowl a ball which you feel like you couldn’t have done anything else apart from getting out.

“It’s just that he’s gaining more confidence about his own game, especially in Test cricket, I think he’s come a long way and he understands his bowling really well.”

Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah will be the other pacemen in contention for starting places in India’s XI Down Under and Kohli is happy to have that sort of competition in the squad.

The India captain continued: “It’s a great sign, as I said, to have four guys bowling so well who can pick up wickets. That’s something we want to keep as a consistent part of our team.

“Obviously the batting is something that we’re learning from the last tour we want to improve on collectively.

“But bowling is something we need to keep as a major strength in order for us to feel like we have a chance to win a series when we travel away from home.”