VVS Laxman has expressed his delight over pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar regaining his fitness ahead of the 5 matches T20I series against England. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been afflicted by a spate of injuries of late. He was ruled out of the tour of Australia after suffering a thigh injury during the IPL 2020.
During a discussion on the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, VVS Laxman was asked how he sees the Indian pace battery shaping up especially for the T20I World Cup.
VVS Laxman: There Is A Lot Of Depth In The Indian Pace Department
The veteran former batsman observed that India currently has a lot of options in the seam-bowling department. The cricketer-turned-commentator expressed his happiness about Bhuvneshwar Kumar being back in the mix.
“There is a lot of depth in the Indian pace department. We saw even in Test match cricket, especially on the tour to Australia. I still feel great and happy that Bhuvneshwar Kumar has regained fitness,” said Laxman.
The 46-year-old pointed out that Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a vital member of the Indian bowling attack for the shorter versions of the game. He last played against West Indies in 2019 in the month of August (ODI) and December (T20I) before suffering the injury.
“He is such an important bowler, especially in white-ball for Team India because apart from Jasprit Bumrah if anyone is there in that Indian bowling line-up who has got the experience of bowling not only with the new ball but also at the death,” added Laxman.
He was one of the first players in IPL to use the knuckleball to the great advantage and those bundles of variations helped him clinch the Purple Cap (awarded for highest wicket-taker in the season) for two successive seasons, 2016 and 2017. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out midway after playing 4 matches of IPL 2020 due to a thigh injury he picked in a match against the Chennai Super Kings.
VVS Laxman Hopes Bhuvneshwar Kumar Doesn’t Play All 5 T20Is To Be 100% Fit And To Manage Workload
VVS Laxman highlighted that utmost importance will have to be given to managing Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s workload. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is among the five specialist seamers in the Indian T20I squad also comprising of Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan, and Shardul Thakur.
“For him to be hundred percent fit will be of a lot of priority and prominence has to be given to manage the workload and the injury of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and I hope that he doesn’t play all the five matches,” added Laxman.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor reckons the franchise’s principal seamer should be rotated during the India-England T20I series.
“He can be rested in between, probably three out of the five matches is what I see or expect Bhuvneshwar Kumar to play but he is such an important member. We have to look after Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the fast bowler, because he will be playing a very important role come November when the World Cup will happen,” signed off Laxman.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has scalped 41 wickets in the 43 T20Is he has played for Team India. An excellent economy rate of 7.04 has been the highlight of his bowling in the shortest format of the game.
The 31-year-old proved his fitness by performing decently for Uttar Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the initial few matches of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He will hope to continue in the same vein and remain injury-free for the near future.
However, the 46-year-old batsman reckons the management shouldn’t play Bhuvneshwar Kumar in all the games – a maximum of 3 out of 5 – as there is always a concern with his fitness. VVS Laxman says that since the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler is a key pacer for India leading up to the World Cup, his workload should be managed carefully – especially keeping in mind the IPL 2021 and the Test series in England.