The success of Umesh Yadav in the just concluded second Test against West Indies only confirmed what has been known for some time now – that Indian pace bowling has never had it so good.

The days of Kapil Dev, Chetan Sharma, Manoj Prabhakar, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan were all good days and represented a sort of metamorphosis from the days when the Indian new ball bowling was a joke and a farce in the sixties and early seventies. And through the 80s and 90s and into the first few years of the new millennium there were a couple of bowlers who were outstanding and a few more who could lend a helping hand.

In the last few years there have emerged first three, then maybe four and now perhaps even five bowlers who have emerged as outstanding and this has led to a healthy scenario when you have fast bowlers fighting for a place in the playing eleven.

It is a very pleasant headache, a problem of plenty for the selectors and also the team management particularly on tour. As Virat Kohli put it succinctly after the victory at Hyderabad ''It’s a luxury to have several seam bowlers. We have a headache to choose out of so many quality bowlers and this is a better position to be in rather than looking for bowlers.’’

Take the case of Yadav for example. The leading pace bowlers at the moment are Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. Ishant Sharma would be next on the list and then close behind would be Mohammed Shammi. Yadav would probably be fifth in the pecking order but getting the opportunity in the absence for various reasons of the other four he made the most of it becoming only the third Indian pace bowler after Kapil Dev (twice) and Srinath to take ten wickets in a Test match on home soil.

What was particularly heartening was the fact that he rose to his responsibilities admirably in the absence of his new ball partner Shardal Thakur who bowled just ten balls before injury ruled him out from bowling any further in the Test. It must also be said that he received no help from the surface which was a typical sub continental pitch. His accuracy and his ability to swing the ball appreciably is well brought out by the fact that of his ten dismissals, five were bowled, two leg before and three caught by the wicketkeeper.

Yadav is a well built lad and has always impressed with his speed and hostility. He has strong shoulders and his judicious use of the bouncer and the yorker has been praiseworthy. Like all good bowlers he is able to make the initial breakthrough and then polish off the tail. The one thing held against him is his economy rate but to make up for that he has an excellent strike rate.

Yadav’s is an interesting case. He made his Test debut against West Indies in 2011 and in only his second Test took seven wickets signaling his arrival on the scene as the newest Indian fast bowling hope. He bowled at upwards of 140 kmph and was seen as an ideal partner for Ishant Sharma by then established as India’s pace spearhead. He was marked for bigger things on the faster and bouncier tracks in Australia that winter and he lived up to expectations.

A match haul of seven wickets at Melbourne followed by his maiden five wicket innings haul at Perth saw him finish with 14 wickets in the four Tests, second only to Zaheer Khan. But injuries saw him out of the side for two years and by the time he came back he had to compete with the newer breed of fast bowlers.

But whenever given the opportunity he has grabbed it with both hands as he did at Hyderabad. Yadav loves a challenge and it is a tribute to his skill that at 30 he is still very much around fighting for a place alongside younger pace bowling colleagues Bhuvneshwar, Shammi and Bumrah.

Yadav’s success could not have come at a better time with an important tour of Australia coming up. Pace bowlers have a major role to play ''Down Under’’ as it has been proved time and again and with five pacemen around fighting for possibly three places in the playing eleven it is going ot be a pleasant headache for Kohli and the team management.