Umesh Yadav is India's answer to those who think we can't produce fast bowlers

Umesh Yadav's speed has been his USP

When an Indian bowler makes a debut in the domestic arena, his pace is between 140-150Km/hr. Once he makes it to the national team, the pace significantly drops about 5-10 yards as maintaining a good line and length become the priority. Often you hear experts saying that Indian bowlers lack pace and are not able to get through the opposition. Not if you are Umesh Yadav.

Touted as one of India’s fastest bowlers, Umesh Yadav has changed the mindset of many. As the speedster turns a year older today, we take a look at his contribution over the years. Yadav made his debut in domestic cricket in 2008 when he was chosen by captain Pritam Gandhe to represent Vidarbha. The team lost the match but Yadav’s four-wicket contribution made him the right selection for the upcoming matches. With his speed and impressive performances in domestic cricket, he went on to become the first player from Vidarbha to play a Test match for India.

Yadav may not be as accurate as Glenn Mcgrath, but his speed is his Unique Selling Point. While we hope Yadav achieves half of Mcgrath’s accuracy, we don’t want him to compromise on his pace. Yadav has represented India in 21 Tests so far and has taken 60 wickets with an economy of 3.85. He picked up his first five-wicket haul against Australia at Perth in 2012. He conceded 93 runs in that innings but troubled the Aussies with his raw pace and bounce.

In 60 ODIs that Yadav has played, captains have always banked on him to get an early breakthrough. Most of his dismissals have either been bowled, leg-before-wicket or caught behind. A clear indication that if Yadav lands the ball in the right area, batsmen find it hard to negate his pace. Overall, he has taken 85 wickets with an economy of 5.96 so far.

Apart from contributions with the ball, Yadav has also helped India win crucial matches with the bat. He, along with Varun Aaron helped India win a tense match against West Indies in his seventh ODI. In the second ODI against New Zealand, Yadav and Hardik Pandya’s partnership almost saw India through. He also helped his IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders win a crucial match with the bat as he hit a six down the ground in the last over. Another plus with Umesh Yadav is his acrobatic fielding that raises the bar for other bowlers.

Thank God that Yadav didn’t make it to the army or police. It is only after unsuccessfully applying to the armed forces, Yadav chose to become a cricketer. From a fast tennis ball bowler, he has gone on to become India’s fastest bowler in the present context who can clock between 145-150km/hr at will.

WATCH: Umesh Yadav’s bowling against the Aussies

(Video Courtesy: mrgarner)