Umesh Yadav has picked up 10 wickets so far in IPL 2022
The 34-year-old has been on song for the two-time winners during the tournament so far, especially in the powerplay overs.
The right-arm pacer is currently second in the race for the Purple Cap with ten wickets under his belt in five matches. He was initially unsold in the IPL mega auction but was roped in by KKR in the second round for his base price of ₹2 crore.
Opining that Umesh Yadav could break into the Indian T20 side if he keeps this purple patch running, Southee said in an interview with the PTI:
“I’m a fan of Umesh, he is a tremendous bowler. I was fortunate enough to share the new ball with him a few times when we both played at RCB. The way he’s been managed suits Umesh’s style of bowling. If he keeps performing the way he’s been doing I can’t see why he would not do well for India in T20 cricket.”
Yadav has been reinvigorated by the KKR management as they have primarily handed him the role with the new ball. The pacer has so far repaid the faith by arguably being one of the most impactful players in the powerplay phase.
Sticking to tight areas and making the most of the help from the surfaces in Maharashtra, Yadav has taken several key wickets in IPL 2022.
Crediting KKR coaching staff and skipper Shreyas Iyer for getting the most out of the fellow pacer, Southee said:
“The way the KKR has used him has been outstanding. (Head coach) Brendon (McCullum) and (captain) Shreyas (Iyer) have used him obviously as an attacking weapon with the new ball, maximising his strengths with the new ball and coming back in the middle overs to try and pick up wickets make the phase a bit easier.”
Tim Southee lost his place in the playing XI despite a couple of impactful outings following the arrival of Pat Cummins. Yadav continues to make a statement and has emerged as a force to be reckoned with for the top order batters in particular.
“It’s great to be a part of such a great lineup” – Tim Southee
The KKR bowling unit has arguably been one of the most well-balanced of all franchises in the tournament. They have only conceded over 161 on one occasion across five matches.
Stating that the current KKR attack is a great blend of local talent and experience, Southee said:
“It’s really exciting. You look at the experience and the pace that the three have and then we throw in the exciting talents of the young Indian bowlers who we have in our side.”
The 33-year-old concluded:
“On top of that you have got two of the great mystery spinners of the game so I think as a bowling attack that covers all the bases. It’s great to be a part of such a great lineup. You got the experience of Sunil Narine, Pat and Umesh and then throw in some exciting young Indian talents, it’s great to be around.”
KKR will next take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Brabourne Stadium on April 15 (Friday).