Umesh Yadav responds to Shakib Al Hasan's high praise in Hyderabad
Indian pacer reveals which has been his best Test performance thus far.
What’s the story?
Although Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan termed Umesh Yadav’s Hyderabad spell as the best he had ever faced, Yadav feels his vicious spell of reverse-swing against South Africa in the 2015 Delhi Test was even better. After breaking into laughter, he responded to Shakib’s high praise and pointed out to the difference between the two spells.
Umesh felt, “Yes, I would have termed it a near perfect spell had I got wickets which unfortunately I didn't. But if you look at that spell, I was beating Shakib with away going deliveries for the left-hander which is an in-swinger. The pace was good, I hit the right length and I knew Shakib was rattled.”
However, the fast bowler insisted, “In my opinion, my spell against South Africa in Delhi back in 2015 was a touch better. The quality of batsmen were better and they were defending really well which made it more difficult.“
On the third day of the one-off Test against Bangladesh, Umesh steamed in and produced a remarkable spell which pushed Shakib to the brink on a flat surface. At the end of the day’s play, the left-hander claimed that he was ‘lucky’ to have survived that spell.
After trapping Mominul Haque with a fuller length delivery, the Vidarbha pacer challenged Shakib and Mahmudullah by beating their outside edge on a regular basis. Despite a sequence of close shaves, both batsmen evaded Umesh’s clutches. India eventually romped home by a margin of 208 runs.
The heart of the matter
During the fourth Test against South Africa at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi, Umesh hastened the visitors to a catastrophic collapse on the final day. With the likes of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers initiating a persistent blockathon on a sluggish surface, India needed something special from their pacers to seal the game.
With five wickets needed in the final session of the match, Umesh utilised the old ball to great effect and sent the ball swerving in at rapid pace. Intimidated by the searing reverse swing, South Africa’s lower order fell over in a heap. The seamer’s figures in the second innings made for astonishing reading – 21-16-9-3. India pocketed the Test by 337 runs to complete a memorable series triumph.
By his own admission, the spell in Delhi remains particularly special for Umesh. Unlike those conditions that suited his style of bowling, the Hyderabad pitch did not offer much assistance.
However, the former effort helped India surge to a 3-0 series victory against a South African team which had a solid reputation away from home. Hence, the 29-year old is spot on with his assessment.