West Indies vs India 2016: Umesh Yadav lauds well executed plan by Team India
Indian fast bowler Umesh Yadav expressed his delight after the team’s plan to skittle out the West Indies was executed to perfection forcing the hosts to follow on in the first Test currently underway at Antigua. The 28-year-old, who picked up four wickets along with fellow speedster Mohammad Shami, lauded the comradery shared by the fast bowlers in the squad and also praised Shami for an impressive comeback from injury.
The visitors are on the verge of a historic victory after dismissing Jason Holder’s men for 243 runs in the first innings, giving Indian skipper Virat Kohli the option to enforce the follow on after a 323-run lead. Though the West Indies batsmen seemed to gift their wicket away with some loose strokeplay, Yadav said the wickets were a result of his side bowling in the right areas and building up the pressure by not conceding easy runs.
"When we came to the ground and saw the wicket, we realised we won't get wickets where the ball will seam or swing," Umesh said, at the end of the third day's play. "We knew the conditions would be pretty hard, especially because it was going to be hot as well.
"The main thing we planned was to bowl as many maidens as possible, and not give easy boundaries. Whether it's the coach [Anil Kumble] or Virat [Kohli, the captain], the whole team sits and discusses the same thing, that it won't be easy to take 20 wickets, and so it becomes very important to plan. And it can't end there. If it's said in the meeting that we have to bowl maidens, then we have to bowl maidens, because we know we won't take 20 wickets otherwise."
The bowlers task was made a lot easier by the fact that India scored 566 in the first innings thanks largely to a maiden first-class double century by Kohli and a century by Ravichandran Ashwin – his third against the Carribean side. Yadav, however, said that the bowling unit was simply focussed on the job at hand and wanted to dismiss the home batsmen as early as possible to produce a result in the Test match.
"We don't look at it like we have 566," he said. "We look at it like we have only made 350, and the earlier we bowl them out, the better it is for us in the second innings. Our effort was that, if we got them out by the end of today, we would have two more days to bowl them out again."
Yadav full of praise for Mohammad Shami
Yadav and the returning Mohammad Shami shared four wickets between them to run through the West Indies batting order while Amit Mishra picked up the remaining two wickets to cap off an impressive bowling performance by Team India. Ishant Sharma got his first wicket of the match dismissing Kraigg Brathwaite in the second innings and though Ashwin is still in search of his first wicket, Yadav said that the chemistry within the bowling unit was a crucial factor in making them more effective as a team.
"We always give that kind of confidence to each other, always we are pushing [each other]. Whenever things are a little difficult, we need to push our friend or team-mate a little bit, and lift them,” he said.
“When we see, for example, that [Mohammed] Shami is bowling very well but he's not getting wickets, my job is, I go to him and say, "Shami, you're bowling very well, keep going." Because I know that if someone is bowling well from one end, then it helps the person at the second end, so if we don't plan and bowl as a combination, it becomes difficult for us. The main thing is, you push each other and complement each other, and recognise that, "yeah, it's not my day today [to take wickets], it's your day".
Yadav had special praise for Shami, who is playing his first match for India since the 2015 World Cup semifinal against Australia after injuries had troubled him for more than a year.
"There was no doubt about it, because he's a natural bowler. We never thought he'll struggle. If he struggled, it was only until he had recovered from his injury. No one has to tell him, bowl here, bowl like this. He's a smart bowler, he's got everything - outswing, inswing, bouncers," Yadav said.