Everybody who follows Indian cricket diligently will remember Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s debut in ODIs. He burst onto the scene against Pakistan of all people and put on a show of fine swing bowling. He set up their batsmen with two beautiful out-swingers before bringing one in to get his first wicket. Since then, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has grown from strength to strength to become a brilliant cricketer.
Here’s five reasons why Bhuvneshwar Kumar is most underrated Indian cricketer:
He stays away from the limelight:
Whenever someone thinks of a fast, swinging bowler, there’s always a streak of aggression that comes with them. Think about the likes of Hadlee, Brett Lee, Shoaib Akthar and even Zaheer Khan to an extent. The fast bowler is the one who gets the new ball and has to deliver the initial breakthroughs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is different. He is a calm character who lets only his cricket do the talking. He has never let sledging or anger come in the way and that makes him a brilliant talent.
He can swing the ball both ways:
Though a fast bowler is required to swing the ball both ways, not all of them are able to do so. Bhuvi is someone who can arrive right from the first delivery and start applying pressure on the batsmen. His swing deliveries are so good that there have been instances where batsmen have let the ball go only to see their stumps castled.
His ability to move the ball both ways have caused batsmen a lot of trouble over the years and has made him a force to reckon with.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s versatility is his biggest strength and it is something that has to be noted. Over the past few years, he has learnt the art of death bowling and has made it one of his biggest weapons.
He can come in the first ten overs and wreak havoc with his swinging deliveries before coming in the middle overs for a couple more that can disturb the batsmen’s rhythm. Then, during the last few overs, he can bowl searing Yorkers and good lengths to curb the batsmen.
He can play any limited overs format:
Ok, maybe he is not as effective in Tests as he should be, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a fantastic talent in the limited overs format and the numbers and stats don’t lie. He did pick the purple cap on two occasions in the IPL and has also picked wickets regularly for India.
He is shaping up to be a proper world-class bowler and his ability transcends the normal bowling performances that we are used to seeing.
He can bat too:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also more than a handy batsman and he showed that in the matches against Sri Lanka and Australia. He prevented India from losing what would have been a crushing defeat against the Lankans and scored his maiden half-century.
Also, he has shown that he can accelerate when required and hit a useful 27 against the Aussies in the first ODI.
By Rohit Nair