All brains and less brawn. That's the message two Indian captains are sending out to a hot-and-cold Umesh Yadav as the ICC Champions Trophy comes to its grand finale.
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Former Indian speedster and 1983 World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev wants "to see more discipline" in Yadav's approach as India square up against hosts England in Sunday's final at Edgbaston here. (Read preview)
The 26-year-old Yadav made a big impression with a five-wicket haul in a warm-up game against Australia at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on June 4 but since then, he has failed to give India the breakthroughs that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni wanted from him with the new ball. (It all went according to plan against Sri Lanka, says Dhoni)
In English conditions, speed has not been the only key to success. Yadav has picked up just three wickets from four matches in the Champions Trophy, going wicketless in big games like Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
By contrast, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been more effective with his lesser pace but greater lateral movement on English wickets and overcast conditions. Kumar has six wickets from four games and his scalps have all been top-order batsmen. (Also read: The men who stood up and became heroes)
The fact that Dhoni has either employed Virat Kohli or himself (Dhoni bowled four overs against Sri Lanka in the semis), only goes to show that Yadav has not been doing the job he was expected to.
Against Lanka, Yadav bowled eight overs in three spells and has either struggled with the new ball or proved very expensive. Against the West Indies, Yadav conceded 26 runs in his first three overs, prompting Dhoni to bring him back late in the Caribbean innings.
"It is a big temptation to hit the deck with the new ball, but a good batsman can hit you though the line. Speed can't always get you wickets. Umesh has to learn discipline," Kapil said in a chat. (India, England and their last 10 ODIs)
Probably the greatest all-rounder during his hey days, Kapil said Umesh will learn from exposure but must be guided. "It's nice to bowl very fast but you must strike the right length and line. He needs to concentrate on that," Kapil said.
In a recent chat with reporters, Dhoni almost did say that Umesh was all brawn and no brain.
"Umesh Yadav is definitely someone who is the quickest when it comes to our side and he's someone who can rush the top batsmen. Just he has to maintain his composure and bowl in the right areas and not look for that extra pace," Dhoni said, echoing exactly what Kapil said.
The Indian captain added: "More often, you will see him bowling the out-swinger and also, there's a bit of reverse swing. But still, Umesh has to learn a lot. With more exposure he will turn into a thinking bowler and adjust according to game situations."
A TV expert here for the Champions Trophy host broadcasters, Kapil said Umesh's pace was a silver lining.
"He will learn with exposure, but someone needs to constantly guide him and address his grey areas," Kapil said, adding: "He also needs to take care of his body. Fitness has been a problem with him."