Why Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s form is a cause of concern ahead of World Cup

Posted On Nov 17 2019 by

first_imgWhile the Indian team management is busy fixing the middle-order issues, another problem that has flared up is the inconsistency in India’s pace bowling department.Among the tried and tested fast bowlers only Jasprit Bumrah has been consistent and is a surety to board the flight to England and Wales for the next year’s ICC World Cup.The biggest cause of concern is Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s form this year. He has not looked impressive ever since his return from the back injury which he suffered in Ireland in June.While wickets have been few and far between, the other problem that India faced is that Bhuvneswar leaked runs.Read – Dhawan slips to 9th, Chahal breaks into top 10 as Kohli, Bumrah retain top ODI rankingsIn 14 matches this year, Bhuvneshswar managed to pick only 11 wickets at a mediocre average of 48.81.Bhuvneshwar, who has a career economy rate of 4.98, conceded 5.31 runs per over this year in the 50-overs format.Another worrisome news is that the right-arm paceman has not looked lethal and has not done justice to his billing.Also Read – India end 2018 as the most successful team in ODIsBhuvneshwar sent down 33 overs in 5 ODIs against South Africa but could only manage 2 wickets at 100.50 and an economy of 6.09.He played only one game in England before his back injury aggravated and he was ruled out of the entire tour.On his comeback against Hong Kong in the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates, Bhuvneshwar looked rusty finishing with none for 50 from 9 overs.advertisementHowever, he got his rhythm back in the next game against Pakistan and picked up three wickets for 15 runs. He continued his good work and once again grabbed 3 wickets against Bangladesh in the Super Four stage.But in the Super Four fixture against Pakistan, Bhuvneshwar once again did not look up to the mark and went wicketless. In the final against Bangladesh too, the pacer did not get any wicket.Also read – Rohit Sharma quickest to 200 sixes in one day internationalsAnd against the West Indies, Bhuvneshwar picked only 3 wickets from three matches.In the course of 14 ODIs in 2018, the 28-year-old went wicketless in 7 matches including 5 on the trot.”Barring Bumrah, none of the others will walk into a one-day side on merit. Yes, Bhuvneshwar until recently would have done, but I am not quite enjoying the Bhuvneshwar we have been seeing of late in 50-overs cricket,” former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.”While acknowledging his recent injury and its after-effects, his approach bothers me. We know the white ball does not swing much, but that does not mean Bhuvneshwar should become a “hit the deck” bowler, delivering short of length most of the time. In his recent comeback matches against West Indies, that’s what he did.”There is a tendency in all of us to not appreciate and value what comes as natural gift to us, or what we can easily do, and it seems this has happened to Bhuvneshwar too. He is just not trying to get the ball up there, full and swinging it. This is disappointing, because even when the ball was not swinging for him in Mumbai, the few times he bowled it full, he had the batsman in trouble.”If he gets preoccupied with hit-the-deck kind of bowling, the kind that big, strong South African bowlers bowl, I fear his one-day career might not blossom too much. This would be such a shame, for he is so earnest as a cricketer, whether batting or bowling – the kind of player every captain wants in his side”The thing with Bhuvneshwar is that he is not that versatile a bowler, so I feel he has no choice: to survive and thrive, he has to remain essentially a swing bowler who keeps the ball up.”Manjrekar also lavished praise on India’s new left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed, who has impressed so far in his 6 ODI appearances.”Khaleel has plenty of enthusiasm, as we saw, which with maturity, could be channelled in the right direction.”Khaleel is good news for India. When the World Cup is upon us, if he becomes an automatic pick along with Bumrah and Hardik Pandya in the playing XI, with Bhuvneshwar and Co as options, the concern over the quality of India’s 50-overs seam bowlers will have been somewhat addressed,” Manjrekar wrote.How India’s frontline pace bowlers fared in 2018:BOWLERMATCHESWICKETSAVERAGEECONOMYBhuvneshwar Kumar141148.815.31Jasprit Bumrah132216.633.62Khaleel Ahmed61124.005.07Mohammed Shami2346.667.00Umesh Yadav4468.756.90advertisementlast_img

Last Updated on: November 17th, 2019 at 12:12 am, by

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