IND vs AUS: Why did India pick Umesh over Siraj?
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav recently replaced Mohammed Shami in India's squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Australia at home. The latter got ruled out of the series after contracting the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, the decision to prefer Umesh over India's first-choice seamer Mohammed Siraj raised eyebrows. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma cleared the air ahead of the first T20I against Australia.
Siraj is playing County Cricket presently
Siraj is presently playing County Cricket in the UK. Earlier this month, he picked a five-wicket haul for Warwickshire on his county debut. On Sunday, Rohit said the team management "does not want him to fly all the way, maybe play one or two games. That won't be fair". Rohit also asserted that Umesh is a seasoned campaigner, having proved his mettle across formats.
Siraj has been India's mainstay seamer in Test cricket
Siraj, who made his Test debut in December 2020, is one of the few Indian bowlers with an ability to clock over 140 KPH consistently. He often troubles the right-handed batters with the ball that comes in sharply. Siraj has cemented his spot in the Indian Test side, replacing Ishant Sharma. However, he is yet to deliver in white-ball cricket.
Umesh also participated in England's domestic season
Like Siraj, Umesh was also a part of ongoing England's domestic season. However, he will miss the remainder of the English domestic season after suffering a quad muscle injury. The 34-year-old, who represented Middlesex, is undergoing treatment at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. It remains to be seen if he will feature in the Australia T20I series.
Umesh averaged 21.19 with the ball in IPL 2022
Umesh had a decent run in the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. He picked 16 wickets from 12 matches at a remarkable average of 21.19 for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). He grabbed eyeballs due to his exploits in powerplay overs. Umesh took eight wickets at 24.87 in this phase throughout the season. He had an economy rate of 6.41 (Powerplay).
India's bowling attack for Australia series
As stated, veteran Shami was named in India's squad for Australia T20Is. Now, Umesh joins Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, and Jasprit Bumrah in the pace attack. They will be accompanied by all-rounder Hardik Pandya. India have a solid pace attack to unsettle the Australian batters. Meanwhile, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Axar Patel are the three frontline spinners.
India squad for Australia T20Is
India squad for Australia T20Is: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah.