Delhi Daredevils' pacer Umesh Yadav feels that the Indian Premier League is an ideal platform for youngsters like him, competing for a place in the senior national side.
Yadav said playing for the Daredevils, skippered by swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag, in the IPL, has helped him a lot to present his case for selection in the Indian team.
"The IPL has been a very good platform for me, as also for other youngsters. A lot of pacers are competing for places in the Indian team. I was chosen for the 2010 Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies after Praveen (Kumar) got injured. I also went for Zimbabwe and South Africa. All that came after playing in the IPL, so it has been a very good outing for me," said Yadav.
"A good performance here in the IPL could go a long way. There are lot of big tours coming up. So I want to do well and find a place," he added.
Yadav, who took 20 wickets in four games for Vidarbha in his debut season in 2008-09, said he learnt a lot from pace spearhead Zaheer Khan during India's tour of South Africa, prior to the World Cup, where he shared the dressing room with senior India players and was even widely tipped to play in the first Test at Centurion.
"In the dressing room, I have learnt a lot from Zaheer bhai. He has been very helpful. For me the current period is one of learning phase," he said.
Yadav, son of a coal-miner, impressed everyone with his pace and bounce in his IPL debut last season for Delhi Daredevils. The performance helped him find a place in the national side when he was flown to the West Indies as a replacement for the injured Praveen Kumar during the World Twenty20 championship in May last year. Later he was named in the Indian team on the tour of South Africa in November 2010.
Speaking on the eve of Daredevils' next match against unbeaten IPL debutants Pune Warriors at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Sunday, Yadav exuded confidence of putting up a good show against Yuvraj Singh-led side.
"We have a good pace attack. There is Morne Morkel, from whom I have learnt a lot. He is taller than me and has extra bounce. But he has also told me that more than pace and bounce, one has to bowl the right line and length. I have also spoken to him about theory of fast bowling and it has been a great experience.
"Pune have had a good run in the tournament. For us it is just a matter of one match. The wicket at D Y Patil is good. I am looking forward to this challenge. It is important for us to come back and we all will be giving more than 100 per cent tomorrow," he said.
On his team's bowling attack, he said, "We have a good pace attack with Morkel, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Varun Aaron and myself, so there is a healthy competition."
On playing alongside someone like Sehwag, Yadav said, "He is very encouraging. He always says, 'Jo karo dil se karo, baaki sab theek hai'. He makes you think and bowl at your best even at the nets."