Bhuvneshwar Kumar was not picked in the Test team for the long tour of England. Although he made an impressive comeback from injury during the limited-overs matches against England at home, apprehensions over his fitness for a gruelling tour meant the selectors were not willing to take a risk. When fit though, he has been among India’s most reliable bowlers in the shorter formats of the game.
In a video posted on Sunrisers Hyderabad's official Twitter handle, Bhuvneshwar looked back at his journey in international cricket. He said, "To be honest, first couple of years I didn't realise pace is something that needs to be added. As I kept playing, I realised with swing I need to improve my pace because bowling in late 120kph or just 130kph, batsmen were adjusting to the swing. So, I wanted to increase the pace, but I didn't know how to do it. That was the general trend to train hard and spend time in the gym.”
"Fortunately, I was able to improve the pace and that really helped me in the later stages. So yes, when you have pace, not the express 140-plus, but bowling in the mid-130kph helps maintaining that swing and keep the batsman guessing," the pacer further added.
After Bhuvneshwar was not chosen for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton as well as the five-match Test series against England, there were some reports that the bowler wasn’t keen to play in the longer version of the game.
Dismissing all such opinions, Bhuvneshwar had clarified on Twitter, "There have been articles about me not wanting to play Test cricket. Just to clarify, I have always prepared myself for all three formats irrespective of the team selection and will continue to do the same. Suggestion - please don't write your assumptions based on "sources"!"
While he has been dropped for the England Tests, Bhuvneshwar is expected to be part of the squad for the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka as well as the T20 World Cup later in the year, fitness permitting.
--By A Cricket Correspondent