Veteran India batter Dinesh Karthik empathised with 35-year-old compatriot before claiming that he was “always overlooked” in the Indian side.
Consistency is not always the key to success. Sometimes one needs a bit of luck. Survival in the Indian cricket team, consistently, for a long time, has become increasingly difficult, especially for bowlers. A batter, in a bid to step into the XI, can often do that by displaying flexibility in the line-up. But what about bowlers? In a Test line-up comprising the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma, the only hope of making it through is when either one of the three is injured. Veteran India batter Dinesh Karthik empathised with 35-year-old compatriot before claiming that he was “always overlooked” in the Indian side.
Speaking to Cricbuzz on their ‘Rise of New India’ show, Karthik traced back Umesh Yadav’s journey to the Indian side – of how a son of a coal miner, who initially decided to become a police officer, eventually ended up being a fast bowler of the Indian cricket team.
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Karthik recalled that after the highs of 2010 where Umesh tasted early success, the senior bowler plateaued which led to him falling down the pecking order behind the likes of Bumrah, Shami and Ishant in the pace department. The wicketkeeper-batter explained that even on home conditions with Bumrah absent, Shami and Ishant were primary-choice pacers.
“You have to understand his roots. He is a coal miner’s son, tried being part of the police academy. That did not work out and then he went into fast bowling and his growth rate at that stage, from 2008, when he started playing for Vidarbha, he made it to the Indian team in 2010, that’s a growth fast rate. Then he kept going still a certain point and the plateaued. When it happens to any cricketer, you feel hard done by. He is no different and he must have felt sad,” Karthik said.
“When you have an attack like Bumrah and Shami, the third one was always between Ishant and Umesh and a lot other times it would be Ishant, Shami and Umesh. But when they played two medium pacers in India it became Ishant and Shami at times”
Karthik admitted that despite picking wickets on being selected, it wasn’t enough for Umesh to climb up that ladder and hence was “always overlooked” in the Indian side. The former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper then recalled that going unsold in 2022 IPL mega auction was Umesh’s lowest point.
“He was always overlooked at times and that must have really hurt him because every time he came in he produced a two or three-wicket performance but was never good enough to hold on to that place. You know he was thrown out…I think the hardest time was when he was unsold at an auction. That must have hurt him really bad,” he said.
Umesh was later roped in by KKR and he picked 16 wickets in 12 matches at an economy rate of just 7.06. The impressive run saw him return to the Indian T20I side as well.