IND vs AUS 2022: 3 reasons why Umesh Yadav shouldn’t have been recalled to India’s T20I side

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After Mohammad Shami, himself making a comeback to Team India‘s T20I side, was ruled out of the Australia series with COVID-19, veteran speedster Umesh Yadav earned a recall.

Umesh was picked on the back of a productive Indian Premier League season with the Kolkata Knight Riders in which he scalped 16 wickets from 12 matches at an economy rate of 7.06. He hasn’t played a T20I in over three years and has only seven matches in the format under his belt, with a career economy rate of 8.76.

The decision to recall the fast bowler was met with a chorus of disapproval, and understandably so. While he remains a capable operator who can contribute to wins, here are three reasons why Umesh Yadav shouldn’t have been recalled to India’s T20I side.

#3 There are other options Team India could have tried out

West Indies v India - One Day International Series
West Indies v India – One Day International Series

Ahead of the Australia T20I series, captain Rohit Sharma explained the decision to recall Umesh Yadav. Citing the unavailability of Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Siraj and Avesh Khan due to different reasons, the Indian skipper threw his weight behind Umesh’s experience and recent form.

However, even if India couldn’t have picked these three bowlers, others would’ve been better options than Umesh. It could’ve been an opportune time to test out youngsters like Mohsin Khan, Yash Dayal and Khaleel Ahmed, who are left-armers with immense quality.

Umran Malik, who has already made his international debut, could’ve been handed another opportunity to prove his worth. Even T Natarajan, who picked up 18 wickets in 11 matches in IPL 2022, merited a recall. If India wanted someone who could contribute with the bat as well, Shardul Thakur could’ve been selected.

#2 Umesh Yadav is a powerplay bowler in T20 cricket

England v India - 2nd Vitality International T20
England v India – 2nd Vitality International T20

The majority of Umesh Yadav’s wickets in IPL 2022 came in the powerplay, where he’s most effective. Utilizing the early swing on offer, the pacer provides early breakthroughs more often than not.

While he’s a like-for-like replacement for Shami in that regard, Umesh doesn’t offer much at other stages of the innings. He has often been expensive in the middle overs and at the death, with KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer often bowling him out well before the final five overs.

Umesh doesn’t have potent slower balls, nor can he be relied upon to hit the yorker consistently. He doesn’t have the weapons a modern-day T20 bowler needs, as a result of which his range in the format is limited. A fast bowler who plays for India will need to have more versatility.

#1 Picking Umesh Yadav is a step in the wrong direction

India speedster Umesh Yadav
India speedster Umesh Yadav

Umesh Yadav is 34 years old. While he’s supremely fit, he doesn’t have many years left at the top level. It doesn’t make much sense for India to pick a bowler whose ceiling has already been breached, especially when said bowler has only made sporadic appearances in the format.

There’s a reason why Umesh didn’t play a T20I for almost six years after his debut in August 2012. There’s also a reason why he hasn’t played a T20I since February 2019. He simply doesn’t fit into India’s long-term plans, which will undoubtedly undergo a rethink after this year’s T20 World Cup.

Picking Umesh Yadav is a step in the wrong direction. India need to move towards youth with an eye on the future, and while Umesh might perform well against Australia, it’s unlikely to help the Men in Blue in the long run.

Q. Was it the right decision to recall Umesh Yadav?

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Author: ntotb

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