India's fastest bowler Umesh Yadav is fit and raring to unleash his thunderbolts again but he wants to be careful about the workload his body can take during the sixth edition of Indian Premier League.
"I have been bowling in the nets for a month now and I have fully recovered from my lower-back injury. I will be available from the first match for Delhi Daredevils. But considering the number of matches and the amount of travel involved, I need to be careful about the workload and will speak to the coaches regarding that," the Vidarbha paceman told PTI during an interaction from Indore.
Umesh, whose last competitive game was a Test match against England at Motera, will make a comeback for Vidarbha tomorrow in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 game against Odisha.
"This will be my first competitive game in four months.
Irrespective of the amount of effort you put in at the nets, there is no substitute to match-practice. Tomorrow, I will get an idea about how I am shaping up. I am planning to play all the group league games which are on successive days which will provide me with an idea as to how my body is holding up," said Umesh, who has so far taken 32 wickets from nine Tests.
Will this injury mean compromising with pace, he retorted, "I have not learnt the art of reducing my pace! There is absolutely no question on cutting down on my pace.
Pace is something that comes naturally.
Umesh thanked NCA trainer Ashish Kaushik, who had worked extensively with the pacer during his rehabilitation along with the other NCA coaches monitoring his progress.
"I know my body better now. Fast bowling takes a lot of effort and niggles are a part and parcel of a cricketer's life. But one needs to be aware about injury management and I have come out much stronger after this forced break."
During the first two months, when he was forced to stay at home, he would get "irritated".
"When in Nagpur, I would hang out with friends but mostly remained irritated as there used to be no sporting activity.
Then I would shuttle between Bangalore and Nagpur for my rehab."
The 25-year-old is ecstatic that India have completed a 4-0 clean sweep against Australia, but regrets the fact that he couldn't be part of the series.
"It's obvious that you feel good about the result but the real satisfaction is when you are out there in middle contributing to team's cause. It's really not the same when you sit back and watch your teammates on television," he concluded.
"I didn't want to rush my comeback. When I first started bowling, it was four-step run-up. Gradually, I increased it to eight steps and from there to 12 steps. Now I am bowling with my full run-up which is 16 steps."