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Prajakta Pawar in Kolkata 28 May 2014 - 10:33pm IST

Variations helped me: Umesh Yadav

KKR pacer speaks about claiming Sehwag and Maxwell

Umesh Yadav delivered the first blow by claiming Virender Sehwag, who was the top-scorer for Kings XI Punjab in both their previous matches against the Kolkata Knight Riders. He then followed up with Glenn Maxwell’s wicket to push the opposition on the back foot. Bowling in tandem with Morne Morkel, he had helped tip the balance in KKR’s favour as the team fought to claim a place in the Final of Pepsi Indian Premier League 2014.

The fast bowler, who had conceded only four runs in his first two overs and claimed two wickets, finished with three for 13 as the Knight Riders triumphed at Eden Gardens. Egged on by the crowd in Kolkata, they put KXIP under pressure and then tightened their stranglehold on the batsmen and eventually sealed the win.

After the victory, Umesh spoke to IPLT20.com about varying his pace and his plans for picking the key wickets. 

Excerpts from his interview:

On claiming Sehwag’s wicket up front


We had thought about getting him in the beginning, because whatever pressure will be created, it will be created by Viru paaji. He is an experienced opening batsman and can score briskly. If he plays out the new ball, it becomes easier for the batsmen coming in later. His was a huge wicket for us.

On how he had planned to dismiss Sehwag

As such, I had planned on just concentrating on the basics. I was just focusing on bowling the right line and length. If I swing the ball from the off-stump line, it will be difficult for him to play. I had the chance, so I just worked on bowling my best, and my length was perfect.

On claiming Glenn Maxwell’s wicket

He is a big-hitting batsman and starts to hit from the word go. So, I had I had decided in my mind that I will not bowl in the areas where they can't hit easily. So, I was varying my deliveries. I tried a few things and eventually got his wicket. Facing a few dot-balls and not getting to hit the way he likes frustrated him and that was the reason I got the wicket.

On Gautam Gambhir saying that having a bowler like him with good pace is an asset

He supports me. He tells me that I have the ability to bowl like the best fast bowlers around. One advantage that I have is I have the swing along with pace. The combination of swing along with pace is lethal and it isn’t easy for the batsman to score off you.

On tips from Wasim Akram


I have learnt a lot from him. Cricket is also a mind game, and at the same time, it is important to remain calm in order to tackle different situations. Among other things, I have also learnt from him how to remain calm and how to plan for batsmen. He doesn’t get into the technique or try to change your action. He says, ‘If you try to do that, then it will be difficult for you. So it is better to maintain what you already have.’

On bowling the slower ones


The ball was gripping after being pitched. If I would have bowled at express pace, it would have been easy for the batsmen to hit me. So, I kept varying my pace.

On the aggression on the field shown by KKR

Given the way the weather was, we were keen to finish the first five overs as quickly as possible. It could have rained. Then the way Morne Morkel started, it was great; and then, I got a wicket and so did he. After that, we kept getting breakthroughs at regular intervals. After that, we settled, and then, it also looked like it wasn’t going to rain again and we would have a full game. We focused on our plans with our bowling and fielding.

And you do need a bit of aggression on the ground. You have to have a good body language. It helps the team and the credit goes to the whole team.

On his view of fast bowlers needing to have aggressive body language


You have to have that. You then look to hit the right line and length. As a fast bowler, you always want the batsman to feel that the bowler is bowling with a lot of pace and aggression.

On whether the weather and the Duckworth/Lewis equation was on the back of their minds

When we came out to bowl, it was drizzling a bit initially, so the first goal was to finish bowling the first five overs. But once the weather started clearing up, we knew there would be a full game. And yes, we had done our calculations and I am sure so had the opposition.

On whether Qualifier 1 saw his best performance of the season

The way I have bowled, is good for me. I am getting back into my rhythm. I am enjoying bowling; I am swinging the ball, getting the line and length right and also I am able to get the variations.

On KKR’s winnings streak

We are happy. We have planned and worked to reach here. And people have played their hearts out. 

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