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At 20, I didn't know what do with the leather ball: Umesh

Friday, August 11, 2017

Kandy: Umesh Yadav had no clue what to do with a red SG Test ball when he made his first-class debut at 20 but India's premier fast bowler today said he always knew that his ability to generate pace would help him measure up at the highest level.

Seven years since his international debut, India's premier fast bowler, who has played 33 Tests and 70 ODIs, feels he is finally bowling to his potential.
"You tend to know a lot about the game you have playing since childhood. But you can be at sea if you are suddenly told do something different," Yadav told 'bcci.Tv' ahead of the third Test against Sri Lanka beginning here on Saturday.

"I started playing with tennis and rubber ball and didn't hold the seasoned ball until I was 20. It was pretty late for a fast bowler. So when that happened, I did not know what to do with the ball," said the bowler with 92 Test and 98 ODI wickets to his credit.

And it took nearly two years for him to work it out.

"I did not know where to pitch the ball, the first two years I could not understand when the ball would go out and when it would come in or go straight.

"Then my coaches stepped in to help me. They told me it was normal that I was finding it tough to control the ball. Thereafter, I started working on my action especially the position of the left hand, and from there on Umesh Yadav changed forever.

"And all along I knew my pace would take me somewhere," the Nagpur-born player said, recalling his early days.

With his performance in the past 12 months, Yadav has silenced experts, who often criticised him for being wayward in his line and length.

Despite the brickbats, the 29-year-old remains determined to give his best without compromising on pace.

"I always wanted to bowl fast. As I grew up, I learnt a lot about fast bowling. The place where I come from is not known for producing fast bowlers.

"I knew there were a lot of bowlers who could bowl in the 130-135kmph bracket. I knew you would be called different if you could bowl every ball at 140kmph and you would eventually get a chance," he said.

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