Team India’s decision to call up Umesh Yadav to the T20 side surprised many and raised a lot of eyebrows
However, Rohit Sharma quashed all the talks around the selection with a form answer at the pre-match press conference ahead of the first T20I against Australia.
The Skipper backed the experienced pacer to come good and credited his performance in IPL 2022. He also revealed why Siraj was not called up to the squad.
Rohit Sharma revealed why Umesh was picked to replace Covid-positive Mohammed Shami.
“There were few options, but few of them are injured like Prasidh (Krishna),” Rohit said in a press conference in Mohali, where the first T20I will be played on Tuesday.
“Siraj is playing county, we do not want him to fly all the way, maybe play one or two games. That won’t be fair,” he added.
Rohit Sharma said it was unfortunate that Shami contracted Covid right before the series, he also revealed that Avesh Khan is still recovering after falling sick during the Asia Cup earlier this month.
“Avesh was quite sick in the Asia Cup and he needs some time to recover. From a fitness point of view, he needed some time and rebuild his fitness. All those things were considered,” he said.
Lack of match practice in T20 Cricket won’t be a factor for Umesh Yadav
“Guys like Umesh, Shami, who have been bowling for a long time, they do not need to be playing a format to be considered,” he said.
“They have proven themselves as players in whichever format they have played. We understand the quality, it is the new guys on whom it will depend whether they have played this format or not. But guys like Umesh and Shami, if they are fit and fine, they will be called back,” Rohit said. “We don’t need to look at their form, we saw how Umesh bowled in the IPL.”
“He (Umesh) bowled really well, he swings the ball, bowls fast. That was the thought, pretty simple actually. It was not much of a discussion for us. Keeping in mind World Cup is around the corner, we have tried a lot of players. We are very much clear in our thought process and how we want to move forward,” Rohit concluded.
Umesh Yadav last played against Australia in February 2019. Umesh was Kolkata Knight Riders’ star performer in this year’s IPL, picking up 16 wickets with the new ball. The right-arm pacer proved to be a match-winner for English County side Middlesex in the Royal London Cup. Umesh has played just 7 T20Is so far in his career and took 9 wickets