New Delhi: India's quest to resolve the much-debated bowling all-rounder conundrum seemed to have found an answer with Umesh Yadav scoring a blistering century for Vidarbha in their Ranji Trophy Group A match against Odisha at Nagpur on Friday.
The 25-year-old right-arm pace bowler, who is an unknown entity when it comes to batting, scored his maiden first-class hundred and remained unbeaten at 128 as Vidarbha posted 467 runs in their first innings against the visiting Odisha team on Day 2 of the match.
Only yesterday, India's limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni revealed that the search is still on for a potent cricketer, who can fit into the role of a seam bowling all-rounder that will help the team get its combination right.
In fact, for the high-stake Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela series against South Africa, Indian selectors have called up uncapped Punjab all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh for the One Day International series. And the chairman of the selectors Sandeep Patil had said that "Gurkeerat was picked looking at his all-round capabilities... The demands of the game are such that we need more all-rounders."
It may seem too presumptuous to project Yadav as a bowling all-rounder, who can also bat, but his blistering 119-ball knock will force many to sit up and take notice of his batting prowess. In his unbeaten innings, the right-handed batsman hit six sixes coming at eight down.
Currently, the Indian team has Stuart Binny, besides the rookie Gurkeerat to play the all-rounder's role, per say. With injury prone and temperamental Ravindra Jadeja out of bounds, Yadav can fill in the void. And hope, Yadav's innings was not a one-off exploit.
Or, shall we give some thoughts on existing standard of India's domestic bowlers?
Yadav, who has played 15 Test matches for India, has scored 1851 runs in 19 innings with highest score of 30 at an average of 7.75.