There is something about bowlers delivering a ball at 90 miles an hour. They stand out, a fast bouncer usually followed by a stare that could give you chills even on sunny days. A sheering yorker to take out the most seasoned batsmen or, a length ball which zags a bit after falling on the seam are are more than welcome, but if you can bowl at an average speed of 145 Kms/hr, the world stands up and takes notice. India has her fair share of such bowlers and mind you, they are essential components of a successful side. But then, there are some bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
He is not ‘in your face’ kind of bowler. You do not notice him for his speed or other theatricals. He makes up for all these absences by his skills and there is no dearth of skills. Imagine someone who can swing the ball both ways, bowl yorkers at will, has varieties of slower balls, a kunckle ball which is difficult to spot, a slower bouncer, a hard length ball which is difficult to put away and all these at a decent pace. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is all these and more.
The recently concluded T-20 series with England marks the return of Bhuvneshwar to the Indian clothing after the 2019 world cup. And his performance in the series has shown as to why India was keen on getting his services back. Bhuvneshwar’s career economy stands at a outstanding 6.39 which dropped to an astonishing 4.94 in this series and add to it the fact that England has probably the most explosive T-20 batsmen in its lineup. All these while bowling the most difficult overs in the game.
In the final match on Saturday, captain Kohli brought Bhuvneshwar back in the 12th over. At this stage, England needed 98 runs of 48 balls with two set batsmen in the crease. During the course of this over, he would give away only three runs and more importantly, have Buttler hole out on long off. Upon finishing his over, he would slightly nod to himself; an acknowledgment of a job well done. He does not need to be called out and told so.
For India’s sake, the team management can only hope that he stays free from injuries and niggles. For there is no other bowler like Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He is the ice to the fire of Bumrah and India’s chances in the upcoming world cup rests on the shoulders of these two. For now, we can rejoice on his return.