Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav is expected to lead India's pace engine in the first Test against South Africa.Reuters

After an unimpressive performance against South Africa in the ODI and T20 series, India speedster Umesh Yadav has set his eyes on the Test series, which starts On 5 November in Mohali. With the new ball, Yadav is going to play an important role in the series as Ishant Sharma is unavailable for the first Test and Mohammed Shami may not be picked for the last two Test matches as well.

Umesh Yadav, who has taken 48 Test wickets, looked decent in India's last Test series against Sri Lanka, where Virat Kohli and his men emerged victorious. Yadav managed to take five wickets in the two Test matches he played.

However, the India-South Africa Test series is going to be huge one for Yadav, who has not been a regular member of the Test side. In his four years of Test cricket, Yadav has only played 15 Test matches for India.

"I wasn't a regular in Tests after the Ahmedabad Test against England in 2012. I played my first Test in Australia two years after that, then that washed out Test in Bangladesh and after that two Tests in Sri Lanka. I think I bowled well in patches," Miandad told The Times of India in an interview.

Though Yadav might have been decent against Sri Lanka, he needs to be on top of his game against South Africa, who are the top ranked side in the world. The Proteas are a huge threat with the bat as they have some big names in their ranks, which include AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plesis amongst others.

If this trio get their act together in the Test series, India are sure to find themselves in a spot of bother.

Yadav believes he will have a spring in his stride if he manages to come up with a quality performance against these South Africa batsmen. The India bowlers have to get them for cheap runs if they are to win the Test series.

"They are very good players of fast bowling. If I do well against the likes of AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plesis and JP Duminy, I can take a lot of confidence from my performance," said Yadav.

The India speedster needs his confidence back as he must have been disappointed after being left out of the last two ODIs against South Africa. However, Yadav, who has played a couple of matches for his Ranji side, Vidarbha, has helped him get a fair idea about his bowling in the longer format.

"The two Ranji Trophy games this season have given me a fair bit of idea about my bowling in the longer format and where I need to work on. I have always been a rhythm bowler and I feel I am in good rhythm right now," said Yadav.

History suggests pitches in India have always been spin friendly, which means India spinners are going to play an important role in the India-South Africa Test series. In order to be successful in Tests, all the players in the team need to deliver.

Yadav feels the spinners work can be made easier if the seamers take wickets with the new ball.

"Our strength is spin but I feel fast bowlers will also play an important role. If we can get wickets with the new ball, it will help our spinners. The sooner their main batsmen come at the crease, the better it will be for us," added Yadav.

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