This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
FULL NAME Bhuvneshwar Kumar Singh
BORN February 5, 1990 in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
BATTING STYLE Right Handed
BOWLING Right-arm medium
BOWLING RANK Test - 37, ODI - 23, World Cup - 23, T20I - 82
TEAMS PLAYED India, Central Zone, India A, India Blue, Bangalore, Uttar Pradesh, Pune, Hyderabad
MAN OF THE MATCH Tests - 0, ODIs - 3, World Cups - 0, T20Is - 0, IPLs - 5, CLs - 0,
CAREER SPAN [Test, 2013 - 2017], [ODI, 2012 - 2017], [World Cup, 2015], [T20I, 2012 - 2017], [IPL, 2011 - 2017], [CL, 2009], and continuing
Not many bowlers begin their career as well as Bhuvneshwar Kumar did for India. He struck in his very first over in both ODIs and T20Is, both against Pakistan in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Kumar is well renowned for his ability to swing the ball both ways.
The boy with the golden arm opens his Test account
Kumar didn't let his wicket-less Test debut affect him as he stunned everybody by picking up three top-order wickets in quick time, thereby easing the burden of the spinners.
Indian spinners, who took six of the nine Australian wickets that fell on Saturday, owe it to pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar opening the floodgates he licked the cream of opponents' batting here on the first day of the second Test.
Kumar dismissed David Warner, overcame an upset stomach didn't have one to match the Uttar Pradesh pacer, Ed Cowan the dangerous Shane Watson reduce Australia to 57 for three the 15th over.
After Clarke opted to bat on winning the toss, Bhuvneshwar struck telling blows. The 23- year- old Meerut pacer opened his Test account by bowling Warner off an inside edge to leave Australia sulking at 10/ 1. With this wicket, Kumar became the first bowler to take his maiden wicket in all three formats by bowling out the batsmen.
In his next over, the slightly built Kumar dismissed Cowan to make it 15 for two for Australia.
Watson and Phillip Hughes looked like overcoming the early shock with their 42- run partnership.
But it took another Kumar- delivery to break the stand when Watson tried to pull and was also declared LBW. Australia lost the fourth batsman cheaply as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni caught Hughes on his second attempt off offie R Ashwin.
Then Wade, who broke his cheekbone in practice on Friday, and an aggressive Clarke confronted Indian bowlers, who were threatening to run through the side, head on. They dominated the session between lunch and tea intervals as they scored 104 runs in this period without being separated. Harbhajan finally broke the monotony as he induced a cut from Wade and Kumar took a good catch to end the 145- run partnership.
Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the new 'Boy with the Golden Arm', didn't let his wicket-less Test debut, against Australia in Chennai, affect him on Saturday as he made the ball talk here on the first day of the second Test.
His perfect wrist position, close- to- ideal bowling action, and a flexible body - not to forget a strong will - helped him emerge as the best Indian pacer of the day as he snared the first three Aussie wickets to give his team a grand opening in only his second Test.
Manoj Prabhakar, Sanjeev Sharma and Kumar's coach Sanjay Rastogi were not surprised that the 23- year- old Uttar Pradesh pacer dished out another good performance with the ball, after excelling in onedayers against England recently.
"The Australians just don't seem to decipher his bowling action. They are trying to play cut shots against him and getting bowled. His bowling action is too good, so is his wrist position, and he has good control over his line and length, which makes up for his lack of speed," Prabhakar told Mail Today. Kumar, actually, bowled David Warner with a delivery clocked 131.4 kmph and Ed Cowan with a 132.2 kmph ball.
Only the ball that accounted for danger- man Shane Watson clocked less than 130 kmph ( 124.1 kmph). " But the biggest thing that he has got is the ' will'. He had the will to bowl well on this kind of pata pitch [ bald and not conducive to pacers]," Prabhakar said.
Sanjeev, who as a national junior selector watched Kumar come up the ranks, marvels at Kumar's ability to generate late swing that often deceives batsmen. "He exploited the early morning juice in Hyderabad with his ability to swing the ball. It's very useful in the morning period. His in- swing and outswing comes late to batsmen and he has a flexible body too," said the former India pacer.
"Bhuvneshwar has a rhythmic bowling action and it suits his style of bowling.He would be more successful in helpful conditions that countries like England, Australia and New Zealand offer," he pointed out.
"He doesn't have great speed, but he is accurate, and he's performing in all formats." Coach Rastogi, who saw Bhuvneshwar grow as a bowler in Meerut, said his return of three for 53 is a tribute to his natural ability. " He has an ability of his own. And when he took that first wicket he grew in confidence as he had a genuine wicket, of Warner," Rastogi told Mail Today.
Wade happy with his gritty performance
Braveheart Mathew Wade, who on Saturday gave stability a shaky Australian innings, said he felt nice in the middle despite suffering a cheekbone fracture the previous day.
Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took his maiden Test wicket and added two more to rock Australia initially, was modest. " Something always happens during first hour. So, I tried to bowl within the line of stumps. Since the wicket was slow in nature and the odd ball was keeping low, the plan came off well," he told reporters.
"We all know that spinners dominate in Indian conditions so it's good if medium pacers can get at least two wickets."
5-33 against New Zealand
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s sensational 5-33, his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests, from 10 overs broke the back of New Zealand’s batting.
Kolkata: Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s devastating five-wicket haul after a late batting blitzkrieg put India firmly in command as they reduced a hapless New Zealand to 128 for 7 on the rain-hit second day of the second cricket Test in Kolkata on Saturday.
The Kiwis were tottering at 128/7, still 188 runs behind and facing the prospect of another big defeat after the 197-run drubbing in the opening Test in Kanpur.
The wrecker-in chief was Bhuvneshwar Kumar with a sensational 5-33, his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests, from 10 overs that broke the back of New Zealand’s batting. The Kiwis faced 34 overs in all on Saturday after a bulk of the final session was held up due to wet ground conditions and stumps were drawn early because of bad light.
It was a turnaround of sorts for India, who had staggered to 239/7 on Friday on a pitch that offered uneven bounce.
Once play got underway, Kumar lit up the gloomy atmosphere with his feisty spell. Included in place of Umesh Yadav, Kumar was at his furious best bowling a tidy line and length as he removed stand-in skipper Ross Taylor (36) in his first over after play was resumed following a two and half hours delay.
Bowling a beautiful line, Kumar dismissed Taylor after he jabbed the ball at first slip and took two wickets in two balls by removing Mitchell Santner (11) and Matt Henry (0) off successive balls.
Champions Trophy: The Reinvention Of India's Key Pacer
Partha Bhaduri, The Times of India, Jun 17 2017
The Reinvention Of India's Key Pacer Has Paid Off Immensely
One man, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, has been two-thirds of the Indian bowling attack in England.
The soft-spoken, affable, almost unassuming pacer from Meerut has displayed rare smarts and keen adaptability under trying circumstances for bowlers in this Champions Trophy .
Primarily known as a swing bowler with middling pace who can thrive with the red ball in the right conditions, Bhuvneshwar has in recent years added dimensions to his game.
In this tournament, the white ball hasn't swung and the pitches have been harder. Bhuvneshwar has made his mark by adding a layer of pace and also deft variations, acquiring the skill to cleverly alter his lengths, bowl nagging lines and apply the slow choke early on in the innings. The batsman is left gasping for runs and desperate to break through, making him vulnerable to a rash stroke.
Following the defeat to Sri Lanka, captain Virat Kohli's decision to hand the new ball to Jasprit Bumrah to partner the wily Bhuvneshwar in a clever inversion of India's usual death-bowling pair has added fresh impetus to the attack.
Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav, who rely primarily on pace and swing, have been left cooling their heels as Bhuvi and Bumrah ply their trade in knuckle balls, slower balls, yorkers and subtle variations in length.
Their success has allowed the spinners some leeway on these flat surfaces. Bhuvi, in particular, has carried his younger partner along and asked difficult questions of the batsmen. Sabbir Rehman during the game against Bangladesh, and Hashim Amla and De Kock in the South Africa match, will vouch for Bhuvi's new `strike-bowler' skills.
“It is difficult bowling in these conditions,“ Bhuvneshwar said after the game against South Africa.“The only thing you have to change is length. Everyone is bowling a bit `back' compared to what they usually bowl. Generally we always go for wickets in the first 10 overs when the ball swings, but now we look to contain them and then take wickets when the pressure builds.“
While that could also explain the success of the subcontinental teams in this Champions Trophy, Bhuvi 2.0 has been in the making for a while.Back in the 2015 World Cup, it was Bhuvneshwar, and not Umesh or Shami, who was warming the benches more often. Days earlier, d u r i n g I n d i a 's lengthy four-Test tour of Australia in 2014-15, Bhuvi had seemed a spent force. He subsequently worked on his fitness, tried to add some pace not always smoothly and came back a different bowler.
Among the four lead pacers in India's Champions Trophy squad Bumrah, Umesh, Shami and Bhuvi it was Bhuvi who had the most IPL wickets this time, 26 from 14 games, at an economy rate of 7.05 and a strike rate of 12.07. He has been in prime form heading to England, a place usually hospitable to his skills, allowing him to reprise his 2013 Champions Trophy performance.
Dot balls have played a big role in his act: 17 against Pakistan, 30 against Sri Lanka, 28 against South Africa and 37 against Bangladesh.The most Bhuvi has conceded in his first spell of five overs has been 29, against Bangladesh, but he also bagged two wickets in that spell.
“Bhuvneshwar has been outstanding and always very consistent,“ said Kohli. “Especially in the last two games, both Bhuvi and Bumrah have been terrific initially and in the later stages as well.Their wicket-taking ability is something the opposition knows, so they are a lw ay s c a re f u l about going hard against these two guys.“
World’s ‘Finest White-Ball Bowler’
Laxman Terms Seamer Finest White-Ball Bowler
Retribution was swift and decisive as India bounced back from a rare defeat in Mumbai in clinical fashion in the second ODI in Pune. It wasn't just the fact that India won by six wickets that was impressive. Their strategies and game plans, executed wonderfully well by the bowlers with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah in the forefront, were particularly eye-catching.
Having worked with Bhuvi at close quarters for a few years now, I can assert that it is no accident that he has reached the lofty heights he occupies today , as one of the finest white-ball bowlers in world cricket.
When he was not in the Indian team through the early parts of 2016, he worked hard on improving his skills and adding to his repertoire of variations. He was always a wonderful swing bowler, but by the time he came to IPL 2016, he had become a couple of yards quicker without compromising on his swing.
He has loads of confidence and self-belief, and is like a sponge when it comes to learning. Once he figures out a particular ball, he won't rest till he gets is right, which is why he has such control over his yorker, the knuckle ball and other myriad slower deliveries at the death.His dismissal of Martin Guptill was particularly heart-warming, almost Test match-like in both conception and execution.
Bumrah is the polar opposite of Bhuvi in that he was always a wonderful bowler at the death but was a little expensive at the top. And where Bhuvi has worked on his finishing skills, Bumrah has become a lot more proficient with the new ball. Having added the ball that sha pes away from the right-hander, or at least holds its line, he has started to ask difficult questions with the new ball. B&B have emerged as the fast-bowling pair to beat in global white-ball cricket.
I thought Virat also captained the side beautifully . He was proactive and was always looking to squeeze New Zealand dry . Even when Tom Latham was beginning to look dangerous, he kept six men in the 30-yard circle and cut off the singles. In Mumbai, Latham and Ross Taylor had used the sweep shot with telling results. India made a tactical change by bringing in the faster, flatter Axar Patel instead of the slower, more loopy Kuldeep Yadav. Virat also employed Kedar Jadhav's off-spin generously, having not bowled him in Mumbai. And the lines in Pune were a lot more outside off, compared to the first game when the spinners bowled far too straight.
A target of 231 was never going to test India. Shikhar Dhawan played with characteristic gusto and Dinesh Karthik made the most of his surprise promotion to No. 4 with a fluent half-century , thus setting the stage for a brilliant finale in Kanpur.
Successful tour of South Africa
When the time comes for the Indian team to pack their bags for England, their second big challenge in 2018 after this demanding tour of South Africa, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be among the first to board that flight. At 28 years of age, few would deserve the opportunity more than the Meerut-born cricketer who has impressed with the ball whenever handed the responsibility.
It was Bhuvi’s five-wicket haul that destroyed hosts South Africa in the first of the three T20Is. On a track where South Africa’s own hand-picked attack of six full-time bowlers struggled, the Indian swing bowler went back to the basics of line and length to bowl a spell that decided the contest in the second half of play.
Kumar was responsible for sending back almost every South African batsman worth his while at the crease, starting with opener Jon Jon Smut, the impressive Reeze Hendricks, skipper JP Duminy, the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen and allrounder Chris Morris. “What I was trying to do is bring about some change of pace in my bowling. Just wanted to take the pace off the ball because I knew it wouldn't be easy to hit the ball and that’s what I did,” Kumar said after the day.
His conveying of the strategy remained simple, as has his outlook been towards the game. The bowler – who often contributes with the bat too – has remained calm and worked his way towards acquiring stature within the team.
His ability to think out of the box once he’s been given the ball, bowl a few deliveries to figure out what he needs to do on a certain track and outthink batsmen has been catching serious attention.
“Taking wickets means a lot to me when playing for the country. It doesn’t matter if you take five wickets or how many as long as you’re winning matches. I want to do it as long as possible,” he says.
On Sunday night, Kumar gave a brief insight into how his mind works when running in with the ball. He spoke of the length adjustments he had to make and slow down the pace of the ball to extreme levels to make batting difficult for the South Africans.
“Today, for instance, after we batted (first), we had a certain idea of the kind of wicket we would be bowling on. Today we bowled a lot of slow balls. It was a part of our strategy on this wicket, to do away with pace and make it difficult for the batsmen to score. Apart from line and length, it’s important to understand how you want to mix your deliveries. It matters,” he said.
South Africa, on the contrary, kept bowling short to India, a strategy that backfired and Kumar says the hosts may have continued it in the belief that India have a ‘problem’ playing the short ball. “That’s not been the case this time. We have really tackled it (short balls) well. Today they bowled 5-6 short overs to us early on and it really backfired on them,” he added.
As in 2021 May
A fit and in-form Bhuvneshwar Kumar would have been Team India’s greatest asset on the tour of England. In ideal circumstances, nobody among the current lot of Indian pacers is capable of getting handed a ticket to the United Kingdom ahead of Bhuvneshwar.
In a country where how you bowl swing and seam, and how you counter it, determines a large part of the team’s fortunes, the Meerut-born seamer would’ve been the perfect arsenal to carry along. Yet he is not in the squad. Right now, Bhuvneshwar is not injured, as has been the case often in his career, especially over the last four years. Unlike last year, when he got ruled out of the Australia series because of a thigh injury he suffered during an IPL game, he has been fit for most part of this year.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali and the Vijay Hazare tournaments saw the 31-year-old find a place for himself in the One-dayers and T20s against England, where he impressed, and it appeared as if he was on the move again. Then where is Bhuvneshwar right now? Those tracking the bowler’s career and cricket say he is “focusing on the next T20 opportunities coming up”.
“Bhuvneshwar just doesn’t want to play Test cricket anymore. That drive has gone missing,” they add. Those who have seen him from close insist he brought in a huge change in his work-drills a couple of seasons ago, doing away with heavy weight training, falling to the lure of the white-ball comfort and avoiding those hours of long spells that are so integral to red-ball cricket.
“To be honest, the selectors don’t even see Bhuvi hungry for 10 overs, forget Test cricket. It’s Team India’s loss no doubt, because if one bowler should have made it to England, it should have been him,” say those tracking developments.
Bhuvi’s absence aside, the Indian team is travelling to England with a 24-member contingent, unlike the tour of Australia where they travelled in larger numbers because of the white-ball series. However, this contingent includes only six pacers other than the bowlers on standby.
“Ishant has been the backbone of India’s attack, and rightly so, but when was the last time he worked his way through an entire series? Injury relapses and niggles have been a constant irritant. That will leave the bulk of the responsibility on two pacers, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami,” say sources.
In that, the team management is learnt to be leaning heavily on Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur to rise to the occasion. “Their hard work, recent performances and the ability to deal with the given conditions has been a plus. Umesh is around, but he’s been a lottery at most times.
“Also, expect Avesh Khan to be a find during this tour, regardless of whether he gets a Test match of not,” is how the team management is believed to be seeing things.
The team will be going through eight days of quarantine. Four of them will be spent in isolation and the remaining four in restricted spaces. That means losing that much more time in preparing for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand starting on June 18.
“Bowlers who travel to England usually require two weeks to get a hang of what line and length to bowl on the wickets there. It’s the early onset of summer but things always get tricky in the UK,” says a team source.
It’ll be a battle against time, conditions and a host team that’s desperate to see India in their backyard and pay back in the same coin. India’s bowling attack, which has done very well between 2018 and now, will be facing its biggest challenge.
Marriage with Nupur Nagar
According to media reports, Bhuvi will tie the knot with his fiancée Nupur Nagar on November 23. The couple will get married in a private ceremony in Meerut, which is Bhuvi's hometown. This will then be followed by a reception in Bulandshahr, his wife's hometown, on November 26, the town his wife-to-be hails from. The couple will also host a reception in New Delhi on November 30. Team India members, who will be in Delhi for the Sri Lanka series at the time, will attend the reception.
India are set to host Sri Lanka in a three-match Test series, starting November 16. Bhuvneshwar might miss the second Test beginning of November 24 due to his nuptials. However, there has been no confirmation of the same.