What’s the story?
Once dismissed for being wayward and inconsistent, Umesh Yadav has shut all his detractors with his new and much-improved avatar, especially in the longest format. The sharp pace and bounce that he extracts from any surface were key features of his 30-wicket haul in the recently concluded 13-Test home season for Team India. Yet, Umesh, and the rest of the Indian pace contingent have been plying their trade without a fast bowling coach in their ranks.
The pacer, however, has expressed his desire to have a fast bowling coach for the team. "A fast bowling coach will definitely help bowlers like Ishant, Shami, Bhuvi and myself to improve.”, he said.
In case you didn’t know…
At the top most level, coaching is becoming more and more specialist: especially in the bowling and fielding departments. The Indian team coaching hierarchy starts from Anil Kumble, who is the head coach, followed by R Sridhar (fielding coach) and Sanjay Bangar (batting coach).
After taking over the job last year, Anil Kumble had expressed his interest in keeping a fast bowling coach for the side, but not with immediate effect.
The heart of the matter
While speaking to Reuters, Umesh Yadav stressed that the core of the Indian bowling looks settled. Yet, the 29-year old believes that he still has to correct his mistakes, because if he doesn’t realise what went wrong.
He also added that with the inclusion of a fast bowling coach, the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will get benefitted, and will have scope to improve on their skills.
A hip injury bothered him after the Australia tour, but a now-fit Umesh is raring to go for the Kolkata Knight Riders, his IPL franchise, after having missed out on the initial few matches. He is most likely to feature in KKR’s first home game at the Eden Gardens against the Kings XI Punjab on April 13.
While there is ample importance being given to batting and fielding coaches, bowling coaches have been an oft-neglected role in the Indian team. The likes of Venkatesh Prasad and Eric Simmons were reprising the role a few years back, but the job has been lying vacant for quite a while now.
The pace battery has impressed with their sustained performances throughout last year, and would be benefitted if there is a helping hand to brush the rough edges. The BCCI should surely respond to Umesh’s plea, and addresses the concern of the Indian pacer.