Pace is the key for Umesh Yadav

'My strength is to bowl consistently at a good pace.'

Sheer pace: Umesh YadavNEW DELHI: Fast bowler Umesh Yadav has said that bowling quick will always be his top priority, irrespective of the state of his body.

"As a fast bowler, I need to have a clear mind about what my priorities are. My strength is to bowl consistently at a good pace and that will always be my aim as long as I play for the national team," he told PTI.

"If I have been selected in the Indian team to play across all formats, it is because I have the sheer pace more than anything else."

Umesh's steady ascent into the Indian team was stalled by a back injury last year that resulted in his being ruled out for a majority of the home Tests against England.

Recovery was slow and painful as Umesh turned in less-than-inspiring spells in the subsequent tournaments, including the IPL and the Champions Trophy.

But with India's next overseas assignments set to take place in South Africa and New Zealand, his return to peak fitness has attained vital importance.

He has played nine Tests, the last of which was against England at Ahmedabad, and taken 32 wickets.

"Even when I got injured last season, cutting down on pace never ever crossed my mind. Agreed, when you come back, your body asks you a few questions but you should always stick to doing what you do best."

Playing to his strength

With the present emphasis on bowlers developing as may variations as there are balls in an over, the 25-year-old said he'd rather concentrate on his innate strength.

"Tell me what new [variation] can a bowler bring to the table apart from what we have seen so far? Whether it is the back-of-the-hand slower delivery or a change in pace, there's nothing new that the batsmen can't counter. So it's more important that we do any one thing consistently.

"I have a natural outswinger and if I can bowl four to five of them at 140 kmph plus every over, I would be satisfied with my effort," he added.