Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of the finest swing bowlers in world cricket. He has a very clean action which helps him control his swing–both ways–in the most effective manner. However, in the last 12 months or so, he hasn’t played too much cricket and spent most of the time in nursing his injury and recovering from it.
Many cricket analysts believe that Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s biggest strength is his ability to swing the ball both ways on any surface with very little change in his wrist position. In a recent interview with Cricbuzz, the Uttar Pradesh speedster spoke at length about the changes that he made to bowling after his initial success at the international level.
Bhuvi said that the first year of his international career was very good as his swing earned him many wickets.
“When I arrived, I could swing the ball because I played the Ranji Trophy with the red SG ball, [which] is known for its tendency to swing, So I had become used to it. The first year was very good as my swing earned me plenty of wickets, but eventually, because I didn’t have too much pace, batsmen were able to adjust. Then I started getting hit for runs,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar said.
Bhuvneshwar also added that after the first year he started losing his rhythm and things started to go haywire for him. He also said that it was after the first 18 months or so that he decided to add more yards to his speed.
“At some stage, you realize you need to change something, and I felt I needed to increase my pace. I didn’t have that rhythm in my bowling and things weren’t going well. But then I began training and that helped me. Unknowingly, my pace increased,” said Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
“If you have a limited pace and swing, batsmen begin to adjust to it. Then, I started giving out runs, after which the time to change something had come. I felt I needed to increase my pace. It also happened that I got injured and it took time to come back from it. My bowling didn’t have that rhythm, things weren’t going too well,” he stated.
“I struggled for one or two series because I wasn’t used to bowling at that pace. So the ball wouldn’t swing. Because I wasn’t used to it, the body felt an extra load and I had to deal with a few injuries and niggles. But in the time off, I began to figure things out in terms of what was happening and how I could come back from it.” Bhuvneshwar Kumar added.
During the interview, he also spoke about Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket that changed his life.
“When he came to bat, from the dressing room to the ground, I was at the bowling mark. I was watching him, and I couldn’t keep my eyes away from him,” recalls Bhuvneshwar on the latest episode of Spicy Pitch. “Even after getting him out I couldn’t believe it. It was fine that I got a batsman out but when I left the ground then I realised (that I got Sachin Tendulkar out). Even when it came in the news the next day – that’s when I realised I had done a big thing.
“Now, if I rewind my life, whatever started in my life was after that. It was an achievement to get him out, and I came into people’s notice. They were asking, ‘who is he, what did he do?’ So whatever I had performed before that, all that came into the limelight suddenly.”
You can watch the full interview here.