Umesh Yadav's five-for in Ranji Trophy helped Vidarbha rout Haryana in their opening tie. The domestic side will miss the quickie's services in upcoming matches, as the Nagpur lad is fired up for the English challenge. The pacer spoke to HT on his plans and preparations for the long season.
Any plans of bowling quick against England?
I generate pace from my rhythm and if I manage to get it, I can even touch 150kph.
Do you have revenge on your mind as India were thrashed 0-4 in England?
If we start thinking about revenge we'll lose focus on the basics. I will try and keep things simple. If I manage to go in with a cool head, I can bowl the right length and in the right areas.
Does the loss still hurt?
Obviously, with the kind of class players we had in that series. But this is a perfect opportunity as they are visiting us. If we manage to win the first two matches, we can aim for a whitewash. Having said so, I would like to speak through my performance rather than firing verbal volleys.
England have been deprived of spin practice, thus setting the stage for India's spinners versus the England batsmen. How do you see yourself in the current scenario?
Sub-continent pitches hardly offer assistance to pace bowlers. However, I would like to bowl the right length and extract whatever help is possible. As I would be opening the bowling, I'll concentrate on getting a wicket or two to ensure the spinners get a platform.
Any strategy to keep yourself injury free?
I have suffered a few injuries in the past but sticking to basics and following a well-planned schedule can reduce the chances of injuries to an extent. For example, if you diligently work on your routine - training, diet intake, recovery and strengthening, you keep injuries at bay for a longer duration.
Do you feel India have bench strength in the pace department, especially after Zaheer Khan makes way?
Of course, we have good back up but if anyone has to replace Zaheer he has to play that long to gain experience. It will take time but we do have enough pacers who can step into the shoes of the present generation. There is (Varun) Aaron, (Ashok) Dinda. Besides, there are a few bowlers like Sandeep Sharma, who performed remarkably in the under-19 World Cup.
Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Morne Morkel must have helped you.
It has been of immense help. Everyone has different strengths and mindset. Morne, like any other pacer, changes his approach to the game keeping the wicket in mind. The most important thing I learned from him is to put in maximum effort in whatever you do.
Any plans for the Englishmen?
We have been watching their videos and chalking out strategies. But being in a match is a different experience. Most of the time, we need to work out different plans keeping the match situation in mind.