‘It’ll all depend on selectors. World Cup remains in back of my mind’: In-form IPL veteran sets sights on India comeback

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Head coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma are likely going to face a happy selection headache while building the perfect India eleven for this year’s T20 World Cup. It’s no secret that India have a wide talent pool in the build-up to the T20 showpiece in Australia. While young players like Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik are steadily rising up the ranks, a couple of seasoned names have knocked on the door for India comeback.

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The ongoing 10-team IPL edition has seen many experienced players performing their roles to perfection. Dinesh Karthik is currently the name on everyone’s lips but the competition started with an impressive spell from Umesh Yadav last month. The senior India pacer got Man of the Match award for his 2/20 against the defending champions in the season-opener at the Wankhede Stadium.

In his new spell with Kolkata Knight Riders, Umesh has so far plucked 10 wickets from six to emerge as the leader of the bowling attack. He last played a white-ball game for India in 2018 but Umesh hasn’t given up hope of a comeback. The 34-year-old bowler wants to be a part of the T20 World Cup squad but believes in setting small targets.

“I haven’t thought that far (World Cup). It will all depend on the selectors and the team management. India will play several white-ball matches before the mega event and I have to first make it to those squads and keep performing there. Of course, the World Cup remains at the back of my mind, but as a cricketer, I set small goals and try to achieve those in phases,” Umesh said during a conversation with the Times of India.

“I always believed in keeping things simple. I have not done anything special, but have kept working on my weaknesses in between and focused on my strengths,” the 34-year-old said about his preparation in the run-up to this IPL. In IPL, you need to have a big heart as there is every possibility of being hit someday. But it’s important not to lose your focus and keep a strong mind,” he said.

With three wins and three losses, KKR are currently at the mid-table. They have found a new leader in Shreyas Iyer and Umesh rates the captain highly.

“I have a very well-defined role on the side. As Shreyas knows my game well, he has faith in me and stays very relaxed with me. He just wants me to bowl to my strength and not worry about results. So far he is the best captain for me,” added the pacer.



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