Umesh: I never considered dropping my pace

India

India fast bowler Umesh Yadav has never considered dropping his pace, even when he was injured earlier this year, saying it is what sets him apart from other bowlers in the side and what he does best.

India fast bowler Umesh Yadav has never considered dropping his pace, even when he was injured earlier this year, saying it is what sets him apart from other bowlers in the side and what he does best.

Yadav, like many fast bowlers these days, suffers from lower back stress injuries, and was ruled out of the Test series against England late last year. He was out until March, when he returned to play in the IPL, and then played in the Champions Trophy.

He is expected to be part of the India tour to South Africa at the end of this year, as long as he stays fit, but says he won't be overly careful and drop his pace as that would just affect his overall form.

Umesh told <i>PTI</i>: "As a fast bowler, I need to have a clear mind about what my priorities are. My strength is to bowl consistently at a good pace and that will always be my aim as long as I play for the national team.

"If I have been selected in the Indian team to play across all formats, it is because I have the sheer pace more than anything else.

"Even when I got injured last season, cutting down on pace never ever crossed my mind. Agreed, when you come back, your body asks you a few questions but you should always stick to doing what you do best.

"Tell me what new [variation] can a bowler bring to the table apart from what we have seen so far? Whether it is the back-of-the-hand slower delivery or a change in pace, there's nothing new that the batsmen can't counter.

"So it's more important that we do any one thing consistently. I have a natural outswinger and if I can bowl four to five of them at 140 kmph plus every over, I would be satisfied with my effort."

Yadav's emergence, as well as that of rising star Bhuvneshwar Kumar, has come in the absence of veteran Zaheer Khan, who has been out injured for months. But 'Zak' is not worried about the new bowlers, saying it'd good for the side to have depth.

Zaheer told <i>DNA</i>: "Youngsters doing well is a good sign for Indian cricket. And if the seniors do the same, then you become a champion side. There is no threat. Competition only helps you do your best."

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