An Open Letter to Umesh Yadav from an Indian Cricket fan
Dear Umesh Yadav,
Thanks for being ultra-fast as per Indian standards and making Indian selectors go blind when your name pops up in the selection meetings.
Ever since you earned your maiden National call, on the backdrop of a tepid domestic record, everyone is gung-ho about how quick you are and how you have filled in the gaps of the search mission of Indian cricket. Rest is being shelved aside again and again and it cost Indian cricket more losses than victories. Metaphorically, you have become a politician who demands more wages and security in lieu of nothing, who demands VIP treatment without justifying the cause for those demands.
As ironic it may sound, but your quickness is something which makes us wonder how good a bowler you can be but when coupled with your wayward lines and inconsistent lengths, it makes us ponder how bad a bowler you have become. And the plight is exacerbated by the lack of innate ability to swing the ball which is an essential ingredient in making of a fast bowler.
From what you could have been to what you are after all those International appearances, nothing has changed much except for the numerous chances doled out to you by shallow Indian selectors.
We, as die-hard cricket fans, purely understand the fact that it is tough art to master given the anti-bowler flatbeds being offered and abundant largesse served to modern-day batsmen. We don’t shy away from considering the fact that a newbie takes some time to settle down at International level and should be given enough opportunities to prosper.
But, it’s been your sixth year in International cricket and you still run fast in the race of being called as an “Amateur bowler”, competing against another VIP- Ishant Sharma.
Let’s not intrude the argument with statistics, since numbers speak much louder than words in your case. While one boundary every over is a regulation in your case, the performance graph has constantly declined over the years and aggravated the rising worries of MS Dhoni.
Once a mistake, twice a habit:
This is where your immaturity as a bowler is highly noticed- be it in subcontinent or outside those peripheries. We are yet to fathom why you haven’t learned from a barrage of mistakes that you have made which now seems more like a habit ingrained in you. The short deliveries have come recurrently, deliveries outside off-stump seems inevitable when you bowl and death overs are still your worst enemies given your haywire lines. That is where selection confounds us given your not so impressive record in the ODI setup and good performances have come but were weighed down by your faulty lines in almost every match.
Half a decade into International cricket and the “maturity” quotient is still a distant dream. The box still stands unticked. It’s time for you to cultivate some qualities by self-educating yourself as Jim Rohn has rightly said:
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune”
Separating wheat from the chaff:
“What separates the talented individual from the successful one is lot of hard work”
International cricket is all about adapting to the changes and meeting the demands of ever-evolving, fickle characteristics of the game. If Zaheer Khan emerged as a rejuvenated bowler, it was because he went back to rugs and travelled the arduous path to riches by bowling a lot of overs in domestic and county cricket. That is how he separated himself from the boys and became the man.
A lot of bowlers wait in the fringes just because they pay the cost of being consistent and not having the speed equivalent to International standards. But speed alone is not a criterion for success in International cricket and you have become the prime example for disapproving the assumption.The need of the hour is to understand the reality that you as a bowler has not done anything significant when it comes to ODI cricket and it’s time to rethink on your modus operandi before India loses another pace-bowling sensation in a “line and length vs pace” quandary. We have had examples in the past and history tends to repeat itself. Umesh Yadav no more enthralls or entice with his pace and bounce, let alone swing.
It’s time you accept the fact that you will have to emerge as a better bowler before people term you as a “past expiry date” bowler. Age is by your side, Captains and selectors have stood by your side everywhere. It’s time you contribute something back to them. Losing a captain’s faith is the biggest loss a player can have in a team. And if situation persists the way they are right now, the day may not be far ahead.
Just another cricket fan.