‘Ever since the Delhi Test match against South Africa, we have seen him (Umesh) giving the breakthroughs that the team requires’
‘Umesh (stood out) with his pace and the lengths that he bowled’
India's batting coach Sanjay Bangar, on Saturday, termed Umesh Yadav, who has been providing the team with breakthroughs at crucial juncture, as ‘the most improved bowler’ in the last one and half seasons.
While Umesh only picked two wickets, his two morning spells split into nine overs was termed by Shakib Al Hasan as the finest ever he has faced in his Test career.
"Ever since the Delhi Test match against South Africa, we have seen him (Umesh) giving the breakthroughs that the team requires. So I think the reason for that many Test victories is not only the contribution of the spinners but the small contributions that the fast bowlers have made.
"That's why someone like Umesh stands out because I believe that he's the most improved bowler in the last season and a half," Bangar said.
Bangar said all three pacers got the ball to reverse.
“All our three seamers were able to get the reverse swing. But Umesh (stood out) with his pace and the lengths that he bowled. Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) can bowl the conventional swing but Umesh can swing the ball both ways. Again Ishant (Sharma) bowls slightly back of a length but Umesh's length allows him to swing the ball with the new ball and also with the old ball. He's worked a lot on his wrist positions and balance at the crease."
The former all-rounder praised skipper Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble's decision to have five bowlers which always keeps a team in the hunt for a decisive result.
"You need to give a lot of credit to how the captain thinks and how Anil thinks about it. It's very important that the bowling unit is developed in such a fashion that even when India tours overseas, spinners will have to play a particular role and role reverses for seamers, when they play in India," said Bangar.
With the likes of Umesh, Ishant and Bhuvneshwar getting prominent roles in home Tests, the situation has changed.
"You need to develop a bowling attack that gives you results in all conditions. That is the thinking that goes behind, showing faith in quicker bowlers. You don't see often in India that three spinners are playing but there are also two seamers in the line-up. Lot of credit should go to Virat and Anil for the way they have planned things for Indian cricket," he said.
More than 900 runs were scored in three days and Bangar believes that bowlers need to be patient.
"Being patient on such surfaces also teaches you a lot. I remember a Test in Sri Lanka, we were 0-1 down, we were bowled around 350 and not getting the breakthrough. There was a session wherein we conceded 65 runs and got only one wicket. But that session was followed by a flurry of wickets. That teaches our bowlers to be patient in certain sessions and wait for batsmen make mistakes.
"Build on consecutive maidens and making them sort of score through areas you want them to score of. Those are certain things that we as a bowling group certainly learn when we play on surfaces like this."