The Early days of Bhuvneshwar Kumar as s Medium Pacer
The Indian cricket team has been searching for an all-rounder since eternity. Since Kapil Dev retired, that void is yet to be satisfactorily filled. Several names have stood up, shown potential and faded away into the sunset. The search for that all-rounder is still on and thought it’s still early days but with age on his side Bhuvneshwar Kumar could be a potential candidate for the spot.
After making his debut for Uttar Pradesh against Bengal at the age of 17, Bhuvneshwar was regarded as one of the future prospect for the Indian team in the future. He was quite brilliant with the ball especially in the early overs in which he tends to swing the ball both ways and has the knack of troubling the batsmen with his sharp swing. He broke out in the media during the 2008/09 Ranji Trophy Finals where he became the first and the only bowler to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar for a duck in the first class match.
Kumar was picking up wickets quite consistently for his domestic side and when India were searching for a fast bowling all-rounder in tests, Kumar amazed everyone by scoring a deserving century in the 2012-13 Duleep Trophy season. His 253 ball 128 helped his side Central Zone to get the slender first innings lead against North Zone and thereby earning his side a place in the finals. Within a month, Kumar was named in the Indian Twenty20 and ODI side to face Pakistan at home.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Debut Heroics
In his very first match at Bangalore, he bowled brilliantly and picked up three wickets including Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal giving away just 9 runs in 4 overs. He announced his arrival to the International scene in that match and made his ODI debut against the same opposition in Chennai in the next few days.
He almost picked up two wickets in his first two balls in ODI’s just to be denied by the umpire. In his very first ball, he bowled an absolute screamer to Mohammed Hafeez who decided to leave the ball just to see it swinging in sharply and taking the off-stump down. In the very next ball, Azhar Ali was trapped plumb in front but the umpire was not interested in giving the decision favour of the bowler.
Kumar had a pretty decent series against Pakistan and England which earned him a test call for the home series against Australia. He made his test debut in the same venue as his ODI debut and starred in that game as well. But this time with the bat as Kumar held fort at one end allowing his skipper MS Dhoni to get to his maiden test double hundred. In that particular innings, Kumar was rock solid in his defence and scored 38 off 97 balls apart from sharing a 140 run partnership with Dhoni.
The innings might have had a positive impact on the perspective of the Indian test side by considering him as an all-rounder for the longer format even though he was an integral part of the Indian ODI side. He was one of the bright stars for Pune Warriors India in the 2013 IPL before boarding the Indian flight for the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. He was the unsung hero in the victorious Champions Trophy in which he scalped six wickets in five matches at an economy of 3.9. Bhuvi stroked early in almost all the matches and set the tone for India.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Journey to a Top-Notch All Rounder
This marked the beginning of the rise of India’s new All-Rounder on the horizon. IPL 2014’s most economical bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been in the right way for becoming an integral part of India’s Gen-Next. With age on his side, one can hope that Bhuvi follows the route of Legendary Kapil Dev instead of fading as the likes of Irfan Pathan, Sanjay Bangar and Jai Prakash Yadav.
To make this case strong, Bhuvneshwar Kumar along with the help of Shami Ahmed helped India to reach a decent total of 457 after a collapse triggered India from 344-5 to 346-9. India’s new ball pair scored their maiden fifties and put on a partnership of 111 for the last wicket. One has to really hope that this is the first of many to come from the bat of Bhuvneshwar Kumar apart from his heroics with the ball.