Lone ranger Umesh rues Shardul's absence

Lone ranger Umesh rues Shardul's absence

Umesh Yadav celebrates with Virat Kohli after dismissing Shai Hope. AFP

Umesh Yadav played the lone ranger in the pace department from as early as the fourth over of the innings.

Shardul Thakur, who returned early from the Asia Cup due to a hip and groin injury last month, was out of action here in the second Test too soon. The groin issue plagued Thakur again, this time on his Test debut and that increased the workload on Umesh.

The 30-year-old, who sent in 23 overs for his three wickets, felt Thakur’s presence would have eased his burden. “Had Shardul been there, it would have been more helpful for the spinners. Like I got three wickets, if he could have chipped in with a couple, it would have only helped our team,” said Umesh after the day's play.

“But you can’t really do anything in these situations as this is part and parcel of the game. If he is not there, I will have to bowl his quota of overs too. I knew he was not going to come back. So I didn’t let any negativity creep in me,” he added.

India have been left frustrated by the lower-order resistance on many occasions in Tests this year. The case was no different here as India let slip a dominant position, after having the Windies at 113 for five. 

“In these kinds of flat tracks, nothing happens once the ball turns old. With the SG balls in India, we don’t get the required pace or bounce. The ball was soft when their lower-order batsmen arrived. Our spinners tried hard to restrict and even dismiss them but batting had become easier for them at that stage,” Umesh offered.

Umesh, who dismissed three set batsmen, felt trying to go for wickets was the best option on this pitch. “On such a track, as a pacer, it’s hard to contain runs. I decided to take chance. If I had decided to dry up the runs then they would have managed to see me off and build partnerships. So my aim was to get as many wickets as possible,” he said.