HAPPY BIRTHDAY UMESH YADAV: Umesh Yadav is a name of inspiration for those youngsters who manifest to don the Blue jersey but don’t have access to enough resources to pursue that dream. Hailing from Nagpur, Umesh wanted to be a police officer and even tried to join the Indian army. After failing in several attempts, the son of a coal miner shifted his focus to cricket to make ends meet. Specially built to become a fast bowler, Umesh began his journey in the domestic circuit for Vidarbha. He made his Ranji Trophy debut in 2008 in a match against Madhya Pradesh.
During his initial days, clocking in the 140s used to be a habit for Umesh Yadav. Thanks to some exceptional seasons in first-class cricket, Umesh earned his maiden IPL contract in 2010, joining Delhi Daredevils. His international debut came in the same year during an ODI against Zimbabwe.
The much-awaited Test call-up came in the following year when India hosted West Indies for a three-match series. With time, Umesh went on to become one of the best red-ball pacers of his generation. He has so far represented India in 75 ODIs and 57 Tests, scalping 106 and 170 wickets in the respective formats.
Today, on October 25, Umesh Yadav celebrates his 36th birthday. On this special day, let’s take a look at some top spells of the Indian pacer:
1. 3-37 & 3-22 vs South Africa, 2019
Umesh Yadav dished out one of the most lethal performances of his Test career in 2019 when India whitewashed South Africa at home for the first time in history. During the second Test in Pune, Umesh breathed fire with the new ball as he picked three wickets in both South Africa’s innings. India batted first and produced a huge 606 runs. The Proteas were bundled out for 275 runs in reply, enforcing a follow-on. The visitors ultimately lost the match by an innings and 137 runs.
2. 6-88 & 4-45 vs West Indies, 2018
Umesh Yadav took 10 wickets across both innings In a home Test against West Indies in 2008. Six of those wickets came in the visitors’ first innings, making it Umesh’s best-ever spell in a Test innings. Thanks to his exceptional bowling, India got a 72-run target in the fourth innings and won the match by 10 wickets
3. 5-93 vs Australia, 2012
Umesh Yadav’s swashbuckling performance was the only positive for India during their disastrous Australia tour in 2012. In the third Test, MS Dhoni’s side suffered enough humiliation but Umesh could demonstrate his quality in Perth. He grabbed a five-wicket haul during Australia’s only innings, stunning the home crowd. However, India lost the match by an innings and 37 runs.
4. 4-31 vs Bangladesh, 2015
It was the quarter-final of the 2015 ODI World Cup where Umesh Yadav recorded his best-ever bowling figure in the 50-over format. In his opening spell, Umesh took a crucial wicket of Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal. The right-arm pacer then ran through the opposition middle order to finish with three wickets. India registered a comfortable 109-run victory in the match to secure their place in the semi-final.
5. 4-23 vs Punjab Kings, IPL 2022
Umesh Yadav’s career-best IPL figures came during the 2022 campaign while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders. In a match against Punjab Kings in Mumbai, Umesh claimed a four-wicket haul, while giving away just 23 runs. Courtesy of his dominant show, Punjab managed only 137 runs, with Kolkata chasing down the target at ease.