If India were able to claim a 192-run lead against Australia in the first innings, it was largely due to skipper MS Dhoni’s magnificent double century (224) and partly due to stiff resistance shown by tailender Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The duo stitched together a record 140-run for the ninth wicket. Bhuvneshwar then joined hands with last man Ishant Sharma to add another 26 runs to take the total to 572.
Bhuvneshwar, who batted for 167 minutes for his 38 that included four fours, may have surprised everyone with his abiltiy to bat. But his Uttar Pardesh team coach Gyanendra Pandey isn’t astonished.
“He has always batted well. He is mentally tough. He has the ability to stay at the wicket. At times, he has even batted one-drop for us (Uttar Pradesh).
“So, it is not a surprise that he batted so well at the No 9 position (in the Test match),” Pandey told MiD DAY yesterday.
Bhuvneshwar has a hundred and 11 half-centuries to his credit since his first-class debut in 2007. His maiden half-century came against Karnataka in the following season. Batting at No 6, Bhuvneshwar scored a magnificent 80 in the second innings of the 2008-09 Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai albeit for a losing cause.
His lone first-class century came in the last Duleep Trophy semi-final for Central Zone in October 2012. Batting at No 7, Bhuvneshwar slammed 128 in 253 balls.
The medium-pacer was the Man of the Match despite Yuvraj Singh’s magnificent double century in the first innings for North Zone.
“Bhuvi has been a regular contributor with the bat for Uttar Pradesh in the last five years. He is very sincere in his efforts and works really hard in the nets on his batting as well. He has a penchant to play long innings,” Pandey signed off.