Speedster Umesh Yadav, who has been a sensation in the recent years for Team India, believes that fitness is of utmost importance for a fast bowler and is just like "oil to an engine".India vs Sri Lanka - Complete Coverage | Full Schedule
Umesh picked up 30 wickets in an extended 2016-17 season for Virat Kohli and Co.
While talking to bcci.tv, the right-arm bowler said that right from childhood, he had a desire to bowl fast.
"As I started growing up, I started to also get a fair idea as to what is the art of fast bowling. It wasn't very easy for me, considering from where I started. When I got the chance, I grabbed it with both hands and also realised I had the ability to do well," said Umesh.
"But my USP was pace. I always knew there are many who can bowl in the 130-135kph bracket. But I also knew that if you can consistently hit the 140kph mark, then you definitely you have something different and you will get an opportunity," he added.
The Vidharba Express admitted that it with the passage of time, he understood and realised the importance of fitness.
"But as I started playing more, that is when I realised the importance of fitness. Also it was important to follow the schedule and the training routine. If you don't work on the recovery aspect, then it becomes very difficult as u can survive for a while, but after that your back starts becoming stiff, then your shoulder, hamstring and glut power," said the 29-year-old.
"The body might be naturally strong, but if you don't strengthen it, it starts collapsing after a point of time. So, as a fast bowler, whenever I get an opportunity, I work on recovery and strengthening myself. I know it is a must for me if I have to stay for long. Just like the engine needs oil, I need to train. If I don't do that, I won't be able to go the distance," he added.
Umesh used the leather ball for the first time at the age of 20 and before that he used to play with tennis and rubber balls.
"When I started off, I used to play with tennis and rubber balls. So, I had a good idea on how to use it. But I found the leather ball hard to comprehend because I had started playing with it at an older age," he said.
"Initially for the first couple of years I found the going very tough with the leather ball. Some balls would swing away while some would automatically swing in," he added.
Seven years since his international debut, Umesh has played 32 Tests and 70 ODIs, in which he has taken 88 and 98 wickets, respectively.
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