IND vs AUS: Rohit Sharma reveals reason behind calling Umesh Yadav as Shami's replacement for Australia series
The three-match T20I series between India and Australia is slated to start from September 20 and right ahead of the all-important series India skipper Rohit Sharma revealed reason behind calling in star pacer Umesh Yadav as a replacement for Mohammad Shami who has been ruled out of the outing after testing positive for Covid-19 on Saturday.
On being asked about why Umesh was considered as Shami's replacement in a pre-match press conference, Rohit said," There were few options. Some were injured, Prasidh is injured. Siraj is playing county. You do not want to fly him all the way to maybe play 1-2 games. It wont be fair. Shami unfortunate incident. Avesh was sick in Asia Cup and he needs time to recover. From the fitness point of view, he needed time to rebuild his fitness bowling, bowling overs under his belt".
“Umesh, Shami who have been playing for a long time, they don't need to be playing that particular format to be considered. They have proven themselves as a player in whichever format they have played. We understand the quality. It is the new guys who are debatable whether they have played this format. Guys like Umesh Shami, we need to see what they are doing at that particular time. If they are fit and fine, they will be called back. We don't need to look at their form. Umesh, we saw how he bowled in IPL, he bowled well. Gives an option with the new ball, he swings and bowls with pace. Not much discussion. Keeping in mind the world cup is around the corner, we know what each will bring to the table,” he further added.
Despite his sporadic appearances in international cricket, Umesh has been a regular in the IPL circuit and was among the best bowlers in the powerplay this past season, picking up 16 wickets overall at an economy rate of 7.06. He has recent form behind him as well, having topped the charts for Middlesex in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Umesh last donned the blue jersey back in February 2019. The Nagpur cricketer might not have been a regular member in India’s white-ball set up, but he has been very effective with the ball in hand during the IPL where he provided vital breakthroughs in the powerplay overs.
The 35-year-old Umesh's comeback is nothing short of a fairytale as his county stint with Middlesex was cut short by the quadriceps injury.
He had a terrific first leg in the 2022 IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders when he swung the ball at great pace.
For Middlesex, he impressed at the Royal London Cup in which he took 16 wickets in seven List A games, including a five-for and a four-wicket haul.
India squad for Australia series: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.