Senior India pacer Umesh Yadav has said that the World Test championship final will be like a World Cup for non-regular white-ball players like him. The 33-year-old added that if he performs well and India end up winning the summit clash, the memory of becoming a world champion will stay with him forever.
The Vidarbha cricketer added that he is confident of finding a place in the playing XI of the final which will be played at Southampton's Ageas Bowl from June 18 against New Zealand.
“We have worked really hard to get there, and with players like me who are not regulars in white-ball cricket, it is this that we consider our World Cup. If I am able to perform well in that match and we end up winning, being world champions will forever be a memory.
“The match is in England, where swing and seam are important, so I definitely see myself in the playing XI for that game,” Umesh Yadav told ESPNcricinfo.
The Nagpur-born suffered a calf-injury during the Boxing Day Test against Australia and was ruled out of the series subsequently. He regained match-fitness and got back in the India Test squad for the last 2 Tests against England but did not get a game to play. In a stop-start career Umesh Yadav has played 48 Test matches till date but is still not a sure starter in the playing XI. With youngsters like Mohammed Siraj making their mark on the international stage, the competition for Umesh has got stiffer.
However, Umesh Yadav is hopeful of stretching his career and body for another two to three years. He has called himself lucky for not losing a lot of time to injury periods.
“I am 33 now and I know that I can mostly pull my body for another two or three years, and there will be some youngsters who will be arriving (to play). I feel this is just healthy, because it ultimately ends up benefiting the team.
“When you have five or six fast bowlers on a tour of four or five Tests, you can play each one of them for two games to help reduce their stress and workload, so it helps that pack (of fast bowlers) play for longer.
“So I haven’t played much overseas, and I haven’t had much experience with those kinds of wickets. But I’ve played a fair amount of Tests so far and learnt with experience how a particular surface will behave.
“As far as the rest of my career is concerned, thank god that relatively I haven’t had that many injuries. And that is satisfying as a fast bowler, because once a fast bowler starts getting injured (regularly), he tends to start struggling, which ultimately reduces his (playing) life.
“After an injury, there is recovery, and then you need rehab, which consumes a lot of time, which you can never get back. But I have lost very little time to injury periods, which has kind of helped me lengthen my career. So I haven’t had to compromise a lot on my pace as well,” Umesh Yadav added.
The speedster will be seen in action for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021. He was bought by the franchise at his base price of Rs 2 crore.