T20 World Cup 2022: 3 Reasons Why Bhuvneshwar Kumar Should Be Dropped

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T20 World Cup 2022: 3 Reasons Why Bhuvneshwar Kumar Should Be Dropped

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

India have been knocked out of the Asia Cup 2022 following losses in the Super 4 stage against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This has put some big questions ahead of the think-tank, especially about their bowling while defending totals.

On Tuesday, India couldn’t defend 173 against Sri Lanka after their openers had put up 97 runs in 11 overs. Two days before that, the arch-rivals Pakistan gunned down 181. Both times Arshdeep Singh was given only 7 runs to defend in the last over, which, to be honest, even the best will find difficult to do.

Both times, it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who bowled disappointingly and with poor planning in the 19th over. And although Bhuvneshwar is excellent with the new ball, his potentially becoming a liability in the death makes a case for his exclusion from the Indian team.

Here are 3 reasons why Bhuvneshwar Kumar should be dropped from India’s T20 World Cup 2022 squad:

Gets under pressure in death overs

Once known to be an excellent death bowler, Bhuvneshwar has been poor in the death of these two matches. In the 19th overs of these two matches - against Pakistan, he was clattered for 19 runs and against Sri Lanka, he conceded 14 runs.

Bhuvneshwar bowled two wides each in these two overs in both the games. And the fact that both matches finished on the penultimate ball of the last over means that those two wides were decisive.

Also, this means that the pressure got the better of Bhuvneshwar in the death in the two matches that he dished out extras. On the other hand, Arshdeep kept his cool to drag both games to the penultimate ball despite being given very little to defend.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Image Source - News18

Yorker missing

One of the biggest strengths of any death bowler is his ability to nail the yorker. It used to be Bhuvneshwar as well in the past. In the past. Now, though, there seems to be a slight issue.

In the Pakistan game, Asif Ali smashed Bhuvneshwar for a six, taking on a slower full delivery and depositing over long-on; then Khushdil pulled a short delivery for four, followed by another slower back of length delivery which Asif put away over cover. In the entire 19th over vs Pakistan, Bhuvneshwar could only nail one yorker.

Coming to the 19th over against Sri Lanka, Bhuvneshwar had become too predictable with his plans of going in the blockhole - Dasun Shanaka used this to premeditate his movement outside off stump which causes the seamer to bowl two wides before Shanaka dispatched a boundary to cover and then on the next ball opened his bat face to guide it past short third-man. You know what was the next ball: another slower one outside off, which luckily for Bhuvi didn’t get whacked to the fence.

So against Pakistan, in the slog overs, he barely attempted a yorker, and against Sri Lanka, he failed in his yorker execution miserably.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Image Source - India Rag

Lack of batting ability

Rohit Sharma and the Indian team have adopted - or at least they are trying to - a new aggressive batting approach which involved taking their intent to the extreme, although a couple of batters - Kohli and KL Rahul - are yet to embrace it fully.

This gung-ho batting style needs batting depth to give some sort of insurance to the specialist batters. However, India have mostly had a long tail, pacers incapable of evening stroking the ball calmly.

So, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has a strike rate of 70 in T20I cricket, at number 8 doesn’t really suit India’s tempo. On the other hand, Deepak Chahar - with strike rates of 244 in 5 T20I innings and 130 in 43 T20 knocks - and Harshal Patel - who strikes at 146 in T20s - are much better alternatives at number 8 than Bhuvneshwar when looking for batting depth.

Deepak Chahar, in that case, presents a strong case for himself because he could be as effective with the new ball as Bhuvneshwar and add extra power-hitting with the bat.