IND vs AUS: Is Bhuvneshwar Kumar's tour over?

Updated: 20 December, 2018 08:59 IST | Gaurav Joshi | Perth

If there was ever a pitch Bhuvneshwar was going to play on, it had to be Perth's grassy surface. On what basis will he be picked in the upcoming two Tests?

Bhuvneshwar Kumar trains in Perth recently. Pic/Getty Images
Bhuvneshwar Kumar trains in Perth recently. Pic/Getty Images

It has taken just two Tests and the selection debate is raging again across India. How can the Indian team management continue to make blunders in selection, and how can Virat Kohli continue to defend them with a straight bat after a match? After the loss in Perth, Kohli said: "Having a look at the pitch on Day One and how we thought it would play on the first three days, it exactly played out that way." The golden rule of thumb on a pitch that is heavily grassy is to play Bhuvneshwar Kumar. But when Kohli was asked why Bhuvi was omitted, his immediate response was, "Bhuvi hasn't played a lot of four-day cricket recently".

Bhuvi misses out
Before the start of the Test series, India had the luxury of playing in a four-day tour match, a game in which Bhuvneshwar didn't bowl a single delivery. So, this begs the question that if Bhuvneshwar was never going to be tried in the practice match and he didn't play in Perth, on what merit will the swing bowler be picked in the upcoming Tests? If there was ever a pitch that Bhuvneshwar was going to play on, it had to be Perth's grassy surface. But the team management felt he was not ready for the tough grind of Test cricket.

The inclusion of Bhuvneshwar would not only have provided India the option of a holding bowler, but also bolstered the lower batting order. When Kohli was asked if the team ever thought about the long tail, he said: "It's a very tricky decision to make, what kind of a bowling option you want to go with, or you want to think whether that guy can contribute with the bat as well." Recalling the series defeat to England, it was the lower-order runs that proved to be the difference in a closely fought series. So for the Indian team management to now consider the length of the tail by including Umesh Yadav, was strange to say the least.

Umesh Yadav flops
Then there was the absence of a frontline spinner. Ravindra Jadeja missed out because Kohli believed, "a fast bowler is going to be more productive and more helpful for us." Umesh finished with figures of 2-139 and scored six runs in two innings. India got it wrong, but after the match there was a strange justification when, in reality, it should have been the admission of a mistake.

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First Published: 20 December, 2018 08:50 IST

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