Sanjay Bangar Reckons Bhuvneshwar Kumar Has Sealed His Place In The T20I World Cup Squad
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AP Photo)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AP Photo)
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Sanjay Bangar Reckons Bhuvneshwar Kumar Has Sealed His Place In The T20I World Cup Squad

Sanjay Bangar, the former India batting coach, feels the fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has already sealed his place in the squad for the T20I World Cup.

The T20I World Cup might be a few months away but India already seems to be in a hurry finalizing the squad that will represent in the World Cup.

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar: Undoubtedly Bhuvneshwar Kumar Has Sealed His Place In Team If He Is Fit And In Form

Prior to the England T20Is, batting coach Vikram Rathour had pointed out how by the end of the series, the management would finalize and get an idea of the final squad that will play the T20I WC. However, with the IPL and a few more T20I matches left between now and then, things could well and truly change.

The Indian team looks one of the strongest on paper, boasting big-hitting batsmen and game-altering bowlers. The likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are expected to be automatic picks, while Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are likely to be picked to spearhead the fast-bowling department as well, provided the latter is fit. However, the toss-up will remain for the third fast-bowling option, a position for which Bhuvneshwar Kumar has produced a strong case.

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah
Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah Credit: AFP Photo

Sanjay Bangar, the former India batting coach, feels the fast bowler has already sealed his place in the XI, provided he can keep his form and fitness intact.

“Without a doubt, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, if he is fit and is in the form… because this team has displayed that it is obviously going to go on a form. There is a lot of time remaining from now to the start of the World Cup,” Sanjay Bangar said on The Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.

A sports hernia meant the pacer didn’t play any international cricket in 2020 before the COVID-19 break, and he only played four games in IPL 2020 as his tryst with injuries extended further. He picked four wickets in the 5 T20Is against England at an impressive economy of 6.39 averaging 28.75. In the five games, he bowled 18 overs in which he gave away just 115 runs.

Sanjay Bangar: There Are A Lot Of Spots Still Up For Grabs

After spending more than a year recovering from injuries, Bhuvneshwar Kumar finally played his first international match for India during the first England T20I. In the decider, he bowled a terrific spell up first, eventually finishing with 2/15 from four overs and playing a crucial part in India’s win. Later, in the first ODI, Bhuvneshwar Kumar dazzled with the ball picking up 2/30 from nine overs.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar starred for India in the final T20I against England with figures of 2/15 in a game where 412 runs were scored | Photo: BCCI

Although with the IPL 2021 lined up, Sanjay Bangar feels there are plenty of positions that are up for grabs as far as selecting India’s T20 World Cup squad is concerned.

“In between, there is an IPL tournament as well. So, taking into account how the decisions have been made, I believe that there are still a lot of spots that are up for grabs,” Sanjay Bangar said.

“Players who were been sidelined have still have a big season lined up between the World Cup selection. So, I would not like to count anybody out of the World Cup contention as yet,” Sanjay Bangar said.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up two important wickets in the fifth and deciding T20I, giving away 15 runs in four overs at an economy rate of 3.80. He carried his form in the 1st game of the ODI series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune.

The 31-year-old returned with figures of 2/30 in nine overs, proving to be extremely economical and helping the hosts vastly in controlling the run-flow when it was most needed.

The likes of T Natarajan, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar,  Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, and Mohammed Siraj justifies the fact that India’s bench strength is also tremendous and can make the most of the opportunity when the need arises.