Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of the best swing bowlers in the world. He has proven his skills several times in his career. He started his international career as a conventional swing bowler presenting a swing bowling masterclass in his T20, as well as, ODI debut.
Dream debut for a conventional swing bowler:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar debuted in T20I in 2012. No one expected that sort of dominance from a relatively slow bowler. He wasn’t quick but he was making the ball move. He wouldn’t have been more delighted getting his first wicket in his international career making the batsman fall in the trap. 5 out-swingers followed by a sharp inswinger in an over, that’s what any swing bowler plans for. And if that plan works, the joy of getting the wicket is gold. ODI debut wasn’t any different for him. In fact, he got his first ODI wicket on the very first ball. He bowled a deadly in-swinger straightaway to Mohammed Hafeez. Once again, it is the ball every bowler dreams of. Getting the ball swing with angle and hitting the top of off stump.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first ODI wicket (Source: Twitter)
Not just a new ball bowler:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was delivering in the powerplay for the Indian team over and over again. But it was in the IPL from where he learned to bowl in the death. It was definitely a challenge in the start for him but he worked hard on his fitness and was able to bowl more yorkers in the end.
I always wanted to bowl fast. Even before my international debut, I wanted to increase my pace, but I had no clue how to do it and I kept training as I used to in the past. When Mr Shankar Basu became India’s trainer, he introduced power training. I used to work out in the gym before but I never felt that it had an impact on my pace. But after starting to do power training, I could see that I was getting stronger and my pace was increasing.Bhuvneshwar Kumar
After a couple of successful seasons in SRH, he started dominating the death overs with his variations and accuracy of the yorkers.
It’s very important to have a number of variations to bowl in the shortest format. Kumar learned the knuckleball which was introduced by Zaheer Khan in the 2011 World cup. IPL did help him a lot to master that too.
“I developed it [knuckle ball] just before the IPL, during the Test matches, keeping in mind that the ball in India doesn’t swing much and you have two fielders catching. So, keeping that in mind I tried to develop it, knowing it will be handy in T20 and one-dayers. I’m glad I added one of the variations.”
Bhuvneshwar’s skills are definitely commendable. But the fact that he delivers day in day out in the death overs makes him one of the best in the business.
There have been so many skilful bowlers in SRH, for that matter. But he’s right up there with his versatility. He bowls the toughest overs in the format. With only 2 fielders outside the circle in the Powerplay and the penultimate death overs, these are difficult overs to bowl.
How’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar able to swing the ball so well?
The major reason behind Bhuvi’s success as a swing bowler is his smooth action, one of the smoothest in the world. He has a front-on bowling action with no lateral flexion. His head is very still when he bowls and that’s the reason he’s able to swing it both ways.
Featured Image: Bhuvneshwar Kumar | Twitter
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