At first glance, there’s nothing intimidating about India’s new bowling spearhead, Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He’s not your archetypical paceman, sprinting in hard and hurling the ball at speeds that can severely unnerve batsmen.
But make no mistake, the absence of the attributes mentioned above take little away from the results that ‘Bhuvi’ has produced so far in his short international career.
He has come a long way since his ODI debut against Pakistan in December last year and the 22-year-old from Meerut was fittingly adjudged the man-of-the-series for his 10-wicket haul in the tri-series which India won on Thursday.
Many experts wondered whether the modestly built youngster could withstand the rigours of international cricket after he was selected for the national side. But he has managed to keep all those skeptics at bay. What’s more, the bowler who relies mostly on swing seems to be getting better by the day.
He played an extremely crucial role in helping India enter the final with his four-wicket burst against Sri Lanka in a must-win game on Tuesday. He gave away only eight runs in that clash, recording one of the most economical spells by an Indian bowler.
This performance was preceded by a 3-29 in the game against the West Indies. The dangerous Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo and Kieron Pollard were his victims and needless to say had the trio hung around, the hosts could have fancied a different result.
Kumar played a role in India’s triumph in the Champions Trophy as well, taking six wickets in five games. Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma may have walked away with the bowling honours but what stood out for Kumar was his economy rate. He managed to give away less than four runs an over — 3.91 — which is everything a captain would appreciate.