Run-Machine Umesh Yadav Becomes an Enforcer in the Bowling Attack: IPL 2022

Umesh Yadav finds home at the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Umesh Yadav is a fixture in the IPL having moved around from team to team since 2010. He struggled for opportunities early on, and once he got opportunities he struggled with control, making him one of the more expensive bowlers in the league. Over his career, Umesh Yadav has grown into a fine fast bowler. He solved India’s search for a raw fast bowler in 2010, and is one of the best bowlers while playing at home. His white ball exploits are also good from time to time, but control has been an issue.

He had a good time in his first stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Gautham Gambhir managed to get the best out of him back then, but expensive death overs made him struggle. With Bangalore, Virat Kohli found a way to make Yadav effective again. He often used Yadav at one go with the new ball as Yadav picked some key wickets with the swinging ball upfront. His success was short-lived though as Yadav’s form up front prompted Kohli to use him at other moments of the game leading to the creation of Umesh Yadav, the run-machine.

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With a bad season, Yadav’s stocks fell badly. He was bought at base price by the Delhi Capitals, benched the whole season and went unsold in the first round of the IPL 2022 Auctions. Umesh Yadav’s name popped up later in the day though and he was fortunate to be picked up at base price again by the Kolkata Knight Riders. Back in a franchise which gave him some success in the past, Umesh Yadav, one of the lower-priced players was given the responsibility of taking the new ball in the first game.

Opening the bowling of a new season with a new captain, Umesh Yadav immediately respected Iyer’s trust and broke the game open. He took two early wickets to begin the tournament well, and continued the good work in his next game. Against Bangalore, Umesh Yadav took up further responsibilities as a miser in the attack. With a small target to defend, Iyer used Yadav upfront to pick up early wickets, but also kept a couple over for later. He used Umesh Yadav like a trump card, and bought him on for breakthroughs as Yadav delivered yet again.

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His best though has come against the Punjab Kings. With Umesh Yadav in flying form, Shreyas Iyer continued to not only restrict him with the new-ball, but trusted him in the latter half too. He gave a brilliant performance, taking four wickets and breaking the back of the Punjab Kings. The chase was all to easy and Umesh Yadav finished with the man of the match award. He went on to make a record as well. His man-of-the-match award allows him to hold the record of most man of the match awards against a team as Yadav has enjoyed a lot of success against the Kings in the past.

Umesh Yadav is off to a dream start now, and has been doing well through the pandemic. With limited opportunities coming his way, Yadav stepped up brilliantly in the games he got during the Australia and England tour, and is now coming to the party in the IPL. He still has a lot of pace, touching 140 with ease, is moving the ball around with control like a pro, and has found a home in the Kolkata Knight Riders. He came to the franchise when he was relatively young, but in his peak as an Indian bowler, and is now back a much more mature bowler.

Three games in, Umesh Yadav’s aggression and talent is finally on display. He holds the purple cap and the fact that he was bought for base price in the second round of the auction makes people realize how fortunate the Kolkata Knight Riders for such an effective bargain buy.