What’s the story?
The team management of the Kolkata Knight Riders have said they have not yet heard anything about fast bowler Umesh Yadav not playing for them in the initial stages of IPL 2017, starting from the 5th of April.
"There is nothing official I have heard. Until we hear something official from BCCI/IPL, there is nothing I can comment. If there is any truth to that a statement will come out soon,” The CEO of the side Venky Mysore told reporters at the Eden Gardens on Friday.
“But should he be rested, the good news is that we, hopefully, have all our bases covered,” he added.
In case you didn’t know...
Reports emerged on Friday that the Vidharbha fast bowler could be given rest for the first two weeks of the IPL, along with his India teammate Ravindra Jadeja. The duo played a key role during India’s lengthy home season, involving a whopping 13 Test matches.
Umesh missed just the solitary game in the whole stretch, picking up an impressive 30 wickets during the course of the season.
The heart of the matter
Mysore complemented Umesh, stating that he was a fine bowler and added that the news of his availability was still speculative. He also added that due to the new visa rule, some of the foreign stars of the franchise are still in transit, but should join the squad in the next 48-72 hours.
The Knight Riders begin their IPL campaign against the Gujarat Lions at home on the 7th of April.
If Umesh does not play for the two-time champions in the opening few matches, then a case could develop where the Gautam Gambhir-led side could play both Trent Boult and Chris Woakes in the playing XI to add more meat to the fast bowling.
The pitch will also be a determinant to the selections they make and if the curator does leave a bit of grass as he has been in recent times at the Eden Gardens, then we could see them play a fast bowler or two over a spinner.
It is indeed interesting to see the franchise not being in the loop over the availability of a player so close to the start of a new IPL season. Yadav was one of India’s most improved cricketers in the home season and if he does miss the start of the IPL, then it will be interesting to see how he fares when he returns to the setup later on.