Since making his debut in 2013, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has become India’s mainstay bowler across all formats of the game. His ability to pick up initial wickets makes him a lethal weapon in Dhoni’s ranks. With ICC World Cup 2015 just 9 days away, Dhoni would be hoping that he gets fit in time and be back at his best to help the team defend the title, which they won back in 2011.
With Bhuvi celebrating his 25th birthday today, let us take a look at his top 5 spells in international cricket:
1. vs Pakistan (2013)
Probably one of the best performances by a bowler on his international debut!
Chasing a target of 134 in a T20 at Bangalore, Bhuvneshwar rocked Pakistan’s top-order with his excellent spell of swing bowling. He got the wickets of Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal in quick succession and more importantly, finished with an impressive figures of 3/9 in his 4 overs.
2. vs Sri Lanka (2013)
His best bowling figures in ODIs and that too at overseas!
Chasing a target of 178 in 26 overs (by D/L method) at Port of Spain, Sri Lanka got hit by the Bhuvneshwar storm as the medium-fast bowler wrapped their top four batsmen in the first ten overs of their innings. His victims were Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne and Upul Tharanga and he returned with the figures of 6-1-8-4. Bhuvneshwar got the ball to do so much that even survival became a lottery at the crease.
3. vs England (2014)
A brilliant performance on a flat deck!
Usually the pitch at Trent Bridge assists swing bowlers, but this time around, the surface had close to nothing in it for the bowlers. But out of nowhere, Bhuvneshwar outclassed each and every other bowler in the match and took 5 wickets, his first in Test Cricket also. He finished with the figures of 31-8-82-5 and his stooge’s were Matt Prior, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Liam Plunkett and James Anderson.
4. vs England (2014)
A paradise to cash in for Bhuvi!
On a green deck at the Mecca of Cricket, Bhuvneshwar produced his finest spell till now in Test Cricket as he took 6 wickets that became one of the important reasons in India’s victory at Lords’ after 28 years. His spell read 31-10-82-6 and Alastair Cook, Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad were his victims.
5. vs West Indies (2014)
In a match against West Indies at ICC World T20 2014 at Mirpur, Bhuvneshwar delivered the most economical spell in T20 internationals- 3-0-3-0. This spell is considered to be one of the special one’s by him because it actually takes a lot of character to stop the likes of Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle from scoring the big ones.