India's revived quicks need specialist coach - Umesh Yadav
By Anupam Pratihary
BENGALURU (Reuters) - India have finally developed a potent pace attack which can help them win overseas but the fast bowlers would still benefit from the recruitment of a dedicated coach, spearhead Umesh Yadav told Reuters.
For many, including former captain Sourav Ganguly, Yadav was the find of India's long home season, which culminated in a hardfought 2-1 victory over Australia last month.
The formerly injury-prone Vidharba bowler played all but one of India's 13 home tests, impressing with control and consistent pace throughout, but particularly in the final test against Australia at Dharamsala.
On the liveliest of pitches used in the four-test series, Yadav tormented the tourists to claim five wickets and send the message that India now have the necessary pace resources to win on the hard decks of Australia and South Africa.
"I think we now have the pace attack to win test series in these countries," Yadav told Reuters in a telephone interview.
The right-arm paceman is a key figure in a pace unit which also includes Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
While the slow bowlers can turn to head coach and former spinner Anil Kumble for help, Yadav believes it would be beneficial for the quicks to have a specialist pace-bowling advisor on hand.
"A fast bowling coach will definitely help bowlers like Ishant, Shami, Bhuvi and myself to improve," the 29-year-old said.
"In some matches I bowl badly and don't realise what went wrong and how to correct. A fast bowling coach can help us correct our mistakes and improve as bowler."
Yadav, who picked up 17 Australian wickets at an average of 23.41 in what he calls his 'best series', illustrated his point with an anecdote about how he received some useful advice from batting coach Sanjay Bangar.
"I had been bowling short for some time and then Bangar bhai (brother) asked me to bowl a much fuller length," he said.
"He suggested that if I bowl a fuller length it would give the ball enough time to swing in air.
"Bangar bhai told me not to either rush through my bowling strides or run too slow. He encouraged me to find my ideal rhythm and that is what I focus on while bowling.
"For me as a bowler, rhythm is very important. I don't even look at the pitch before a test match. I just try to get into a nice rhythm as early as possible and rest just happens."
While Yadav is happy with the improvement, he is aware that he has just one five-wicket test haul to his name, achieved in a losing cause against Australia in Perth in 2012.
"I think about it and feel I should have got more five-fors in the 31 tests I've played so far," he said.
"I want to change that and I'm working hard. The Australia series has given me a lot of confidence. I want to be more aggressive in my bowling. I'm going to bowl more bouncers and yorkers now."
After a couple of weeks' rest, Yadav is now ready to begin his Indian Premier League duties with Kolkata Knight Riders, who play Punjab's Kings XI later on Thursday.
(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Nick Mulvenney)