Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India, and SunRisers Hyderabad pacer broke into the scene as a swing bowler. But over the years, he has also improved on his pace and that has made him all the more dangerous as batsmen find it a little more difficult to take him on.
The fast bowler has revealed that he didn’t realize the need to add pace to his bowling in the first few years of his journey. In fact, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first-ever delivery in ODI cricket was an inswinger that jagged back like a cobra to peg back Mohammad Hafeez’s off-pole.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar Realized He Has To Improve His Pace As Batsmen Adjusted To His Swing
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has grappled with recurring injuries in the last three years. He hasn’t played Test cricket since 2018 and was recently overlooked from the 20-men squad for the upcoming Test summer in England. The Syed Mushtaq Ali and the Vijay Hazare tournaments saw the 31-year-old find a place for himself in the ODIs and T20s against England, where he impressed picking 4 T20I scalps and 6 ODI scalps against England at home.
In a video posted on SunRisers Hyderabad’s official Twitter handle, Bhuvneshwar said: “To be honest, the first couple of years I didn’t realize pace is something that needs to be added. As I kept playing, I realized with the swing I need to improve my pace because bowling in late 120kph or just 130kph, batsmen were adjusting to the swing. So, I wanted to increase the pace, but I didn’t know how to do it. That was the general trend to train hard and spend time in the gym.”
“Fortunately, I was able to improve the pace and that really helped me in the later stages. So yes, when you have pace, not the express 140-plus, but bowling in the mid-130kph helps maintaining that swing and keep the batsman guessing.”
India medium-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the leading wicket-taker for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Quite expectedly, he is the leader of the SRH pace attack and one of the bowling mainstays for the franchise along with Rashid Khan. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has a massive haul of 139 wickets in 126 IPL games. In 5 games in IPL 2021, he picked 3 scalps.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar Clarifies He Have Prepared Himself For All 3 Formats Irrespective Of Team Selection
While Bhuvneshwar Kumar missed the bus for the upcoming World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton and the five-match Test series against England, he has made it clear that he is keen to make a comeback to the red-ball squad.
“There have been articles about me not wanting to play Test cricket. Just to clarify, I have always prepared myself for all three formats irrespective of the team selection and will continue to do the same. Suggestion – please don’t write your assumptions based on “sources”!” he wrote on Twitter.
Even though he is not part of the Test tour to England, he is expected to play the limited-overs series that has been planned against Sri Lanka with an eye on the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s absence, the Indian team is travelling to England with a 25-member contingent (including 5 standby players), unlike the tour of Australia. However, this contingent includes only six pacers as a lot is expected from the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma besides Umesh Yadav.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out of the Australian tour while playing for the SunRisers Hyderabad franchise in the IPL 2020. Unlike last year, when he got ruled out of the Australia series because of a thigh injury he suffered during an IPL game, he has been fit for the most part of this year.