Indian fast bowlers have seen meteoric rise in last couple of years. This has happened after they have started taking wickets not just playing overseas but also at home, which wasn't the case before. The most recent example of this was when the fast bowlers picked up all 19 wickets in the historic day-night Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, while the spinners went wicket-less. Earlier, Indian spinners were considered more important playing at home but not anymore as Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have completely changed it with their consistent performances. Explaining what brought about this change, Umesh Yadav said that earlier the fast bowlers' "job was to roughen up the ball for the spinners" whereas now they have taken the onus of picking wickets upon themselves.
"Fast bowlers usually bowled with the new ball and were brought back when there was reverse swing on offer. Our job was to roughen up the ball for the spinners," Umesh told Times of India.
"When this crop of fast bowlers came together, all five of us decided we are not here to just rough up the ball for spinners. We started thinking wickets. This ensured we got the new ball," the 32-year-old fast bowler explained.
While expressing happiness at how their consistent performances are being acknowledged, Umesh said that preparing good pitches have also helped them great deal as it brings game's both skills in to play.
"It feels nice when people talk about fast bowlers. People talked about spinners when we played at home. They assumed the pitch would start taking turn early. It is satisfying to know that now we are looked at as bowlers who could ball all day," Umesh added.
Having played 45 Test matches for the country, Umesh never enjoyed the same amount of success before which he is experiencing now and his improved wickets-tally, average and strike rate speaks volumes about why.
In his last four Test matches he has picked up 23 wickets at an astounding average of 13.65 which is far more superior to his overall career average which stands at 30.36.
What makes Umesh more lethal than before is that he has been able to bring down his strike rate significantly. He now picks up a wicket every 23.1 ball as compared to 50.6 he used to before.