Sanjay Manjrekar, a former Indian cricketer, turned commentator, feels Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is not in his prime fitness at the moment in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who won the Purple Cap for two consecutive IPL seasons (2016 & 2017), has looked a shadow of himself this year. After missing a few matches in the 1st phase in India due to some niggles, the 31-year old has managed to pick up only two wickets in four encounters for SRH since the resumption of IPL 2021 in the UAE.
Sanjay Manjrekar: In The Ongoing IPL, It Can Be Clearly Seen That Bhuvneshwar Kumar Isn’t At Fitness Peak
Once known for his wicket-taking ability with the new ball, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has only picked up three wickets in nine innings in the powerplay this season. Sanjay Manjrekar mentioned that Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness, along with slow tracks in the UAE, maybe the reason for his underwhelming season this year in the IPL for SRH.
The 56-year old Sanjay Manjrekar opined: “When Bhuvi made his comeback during the home series against England, he was giving assurances that he’s back in his prime form again. But, then in Sri Lanka, it seemed like he’s not a hundred percent fit.”
“Again, in the ongoing IPL, we can clearly see that he’s not at the peak of his fitness. This is the only for his underwhelming form currently because you can’t criticize him for his bowling. He’s speed has dipped a bit now. Trent Boult is in a similar situation, where his pace has also taken a hit,” said Sanjay Manjrekar.
Sanjay Manjrekar stated that Bhuvneshwar looked in prime form in England series at home. However, in the next Sri Lanka limited-overs series, it looked like he is not a hundred per cent fit.
Frequent niggles and injuries were the reasons pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been in and out of the national setup for the past few years. However, he will look to revamp his performances during the remainder of IPL 2021 and try to justify his selection in the squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, which will be held in UAE and Oman.
The Indian selectors will be watching Bhuvneshwar Kumar closely and could even consider replacing the 31-year-old pacer with either Shardul Thakur or Deepak Chahar. They are currently in the reserves named for the T20 World Cup. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has a massive haul of 141 wickets in 131 IPL games averaging 25.26, which is much better than his IPL 2021 bowling average- an extremely poor 62.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar Made His 100th Appearance For SRH Against KKR In IPL
Bhuvneshwar Kumar made his 100th appearance for SRH in the IPL match against the eventual winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Sunday (October 3). KKR won the game with 6 wickets in hand, with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling an economical spell of four overs for just 20 runs. He could not pick up any wickets, however.
It was a must-win game for KKR, and they took two points from the encounter to keep their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive. Sunrisers Hyderabad, who were already out of contention to make it into the top four, fell to their 10th loss of the season.
Playing his first game of the second leg, and only his fourth overall this season, Shakib Al Hasan made a mark in his very first over by running out Kane Williamson with a direct athletic hit at stumps. The spin trio of Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, and Varun Chakravarthy ended with combined figures of 12-0-58-3.
Tim Southee and Shivam Mavi also took 2 wickets each to restrict SRH to only 115/8. Shubman Gill returned to form by scoring 57 as KKR won by 6 wickets to stay in the playoff race.
Kolkata Knight Riders 119 for 4 (Gill 57, Rana 25, Holder 2-32) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 115 for 8 (Williamson 26, Samad 25, Southee 2-26, Chakravarthy 2-26, Mavi 2-29) by six wickets