I like playing Tests more than ODIs, says Umesh Yadav
What’s the story?
In an era when an international cricketer’s calendar stays jam-packed throughout the year, it is imperative for players, especially fast bowlers, to balance their workload in a bid to stay fit for long periods.
Team India pacer Umesh Yadav, who recently became the 18th Indian to pick up 100 ODI wickets, spoke to the media ahead of the fifth ODI against Australia, where he explained which format he prefers playing more.
"I like playing Tests more (than ODIs). You get time in the longest format to execute plans. You have different situations over the course of the five days so I like that challenge. It makes you more confident and accurate. I am happier playing Tests."
In case you didn’t know…
Umesh had a stellar home season, picking up 30 wickets from 12 games, and earned the respect of former Australian great Glenn McGrath, who lauded Yadav’s workload management skills, stating that the Indian pacer “knows how to recover” and stay away from injuries.
After the testing home season, Yadav was told to rest his exhausted body, and returned to action in the IPL after missing KKR’s first three games.
The heart of the matter
Unlike his on-field demeanour and bowling style, the soft-spoken Umesh talked unhurriedly about juggling different formats, and the importance of managing the workload for a fast bowler. He also spoke about his preference for the game's longest format.
“As a bowler, I prefer playing Tests. In ODIs, you have less time, the format is shorter, you try your 100%. At this age, however, I would prefer playing whatever comes my way, and keep going irrespective of the format. I don’t want to reach an age where I have to choose formats.”
The 29-year-old Umesh returns to his hometown, Nagpur, for the fifth ODI of the series. He picked up four wickets at Bengaluru in the previous ODI, the only game he has played in the series so far.
A revamped Umesh was one of the stars of India’s successful home season, with his red ball accuracy having improved by leaps and bounds. It is heartening to see a player pledge his allegiance to the longer format, especially in this age of slam-bang cricket.
It is a pleasant change from cricketers’ growing preference for the shorter form, and is a small step in keeping Tests relevant.