Zen and the Art of becoming a Complete Bowler: Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Kumar may not be the most unusual name in the Indian folklore but the UP pacers know it well how to stand out, especially when it comes to swing bowling. Praveen, the impelling right arm bowler from Meerut had earlier demonstrated the world that Indians could also talk the ball, both ways. Before he left into oblivion, his prodigy; Bhuvi was all set to take the world with the storm. Lean, simple, the goodie-good chocolate boy looks had a demon inside, alas! He was more deceptive and lethal as compared to his master.

bhuvaneshwar

Bhuvneshwar entered the batsman dominated world of Indian Cricket and stung in his first over in every format, he ventured into.  He couldn’t have asked for a better debut. The lad was all across the media – print, digital, radio; you name it. The entire nation was frenzied by his bowling skills. Literally, one needs balls of steel to be the talk of the town and provide a ray of hope to 2 billion souls, who’ve been in pursuit of finding a name, they could chant; who could make the batsmen’s timbers grovel.

One simply doesn’t dismiss the God of Indian cricket on a golden duck unless his name is Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

I think all this was enough for him to stamp authority.

Within no time he was spearheading the Indian attack. He did justice to his stature on greener tracks and chipped in with valuable contributions with the bat. He was great to open, the captains also showed faith but lack of pace & stamina made him leak runs at the death. He struggled to put the balls in the block hole and ended up serving juicy half-vollies. Eventually, if you could negate him at the start, he became too predictable later on. Weak shoulders didn’t allow him either to hit the deck and shock the batsmen with an odd bouncer. Within no time, he joined the league of Mohit Sharmas and other nobodies of Indian medium pace Dept.

Fame and the dream to continue playing for India looked like a mirage as he was shuffled in and out of the squad. Then he started working on his pace, rather than improvising his strengths. He was left into no man’s land just like Irfan Pathan. His mojo was gone. The pace was a notch higher but ineffective. Gloom was the exact word written on his fate.

But God has its own way of putting things into perspective when you refuse to bow down. Luckily Sunrisers Hyderabad happened. He became the cog of the unit; regained his lost confidence. Started bowling at the death along with Mustafizur and did wonders for the team and helped the team win the title as well. This paved his way to the Indian team. Bumrah pairs him in the limited overs and Shami with the red cherry.

His innate ability to swing the bowl into the right handers outside the sub-continent makes him the mvp of this young gen team India. He has become a thinking bowler and contrary to bowling as per the batsman’s reputation, he bowls on his strengths and backs himself. With the Nagarkotis and breed steaming at 145 KMPH+, it’ll be challenging for the mainline bowlers to keep upto their best.

Bhuvi has shattered all the stereotypes of a traditional pacer. He doesn’t need a beefy physique, tattooed arms and rash voice to outfox the batters. The transformation from a lethal opening bowler to becoming a complete package (opening, shielding the team at the death with his miser economy rate) has been phenomenal. At times, Bhuvi outnumbers the death specialist, Bumrah too. His yorkers and boundary clogging deliveries at the death speak volumes of his temperament and the zeal to thrive.

I’m sure, Bhuvi will be the guiding force and play a pivotal role in India’s performance in 2018, the year where majority of India’s games are scheduled overseas. He’s expected to be back in the third test against the Proteas where Kohli and team will fight for pride. Since, he no longer depends on any turf, his ability to play and deliver in all conditions makes it a no brainer for any captain to play him in every game, every format.

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