Mumbai: The previous two tours to Australia saw the emergence of prodigious Indian pace-bowling talents in Irfan Pathan and Ishant Sharma. Both had progressed through U-19 ranks, the latter had even played a few Tests, but it was the tour Down Under that earmarked them as genuine prospects, bowlers who would serve India for a long period.
Irfan and Ishant chipped in with valuable wickets in India's maiden Test wins at Adelaide and Perth in 2003 and 2008 respectively. This season, it is the turn of Umesh Yadav to knock over a few Australian batsmen. The only difference is, Yadav is already an established act with prior experience of Australian conditions and currently the most potent fast bowling weapon, the hottest pace commodity in Indian cricket.
The management has decided to send him on the tour tomorrow itself - almost three weeks ahead of the first Test on December 26. Though he managed only four wickets from two matches during India's victory in the Emerging Players Tournament in Australia earlier this year, he silently pocketed some knowledge of the lengths to bowl on those true surfaces.