The metamorphosis of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar!!!
By CricShots - May 6, 2017 9:16 am
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You can’t miss Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. The diminutive pacer has been going from strength to strength ever since he was first picked up in the National Team. I vividly remember a young, school-boyish kid bowling in the 120s and, at best, early 130s, swinging the ball with authority, both in to the right-hander and away from him. His ability to swing the ball both ways impressed everyone. However, with one such powerhouse of talent, Irfan Pathan, suddenly going off color and then gradually out of the international scene played on everyone’s mind and thus, no one wanted to pass off early judgments.

Irfan Pathan, in fact, had started off way better than Bhuvi, instantly drawing comparisons with the legendary Wasim Akram, often referred to as the Sultan of Swing, the best ever left-hand pacer to play the game. Pathan, a left-handed medium pacer, was eighteen when he first played for a new-age India under Sourav Ganguly. He could swing the ball either into the right-hander or away from him, with equal ease and immaculate control. And that made him a dangerous customer, especially in the early overs of a game. Pathan especially impressed in Australia in 2004, bowling in the mid-130s, swinging both ways with panache. He could reverse swing as well. I vividly remember him disturbing the dangerous Gilly’s timber with an outstanding reverse-swinging yorker. By the end of the series, Imran Khan was excited about this new kid on the arena and I remember him saying, “as this kid grows, he’ll be a yard quicker than he is… By the time he is 21, I think his muscles will have all the strength they need to consistently bowl in the 140s, and that will make him the most dangerous bowler in World Cricket…” Fast forward to 2017. Irfan Pathan is referred to as a wasted talent. Recently, Pathan, after he was picked up by the Gujarat Lions as a replacement to the injured Bravo, said he has no one to blame for what happened to him. It’s injuries that ruined his career, he said.

I spoke about Irfan Pathan at length to make a point here – When Bhuvi made his debut, his swing and impeccable control were conspicuous. Yet, it would be too early to talk about him. Fast forward to 2017; Almost five years after his debut, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is unstoppable. His meteoric rise on the international arena can be attributed to three important things – he has worked on his pace drastically, from someone who bowled in the early 130s at maximum, now bowls in the 140s very consistently ; even with this new found pace, he has managed to retain the vicious swing he could produce when he first featured for India, something Irfan Pathan couldn’t manage to do.

The current IPL gives us a pretty clear picture about how Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has been – while the Orange Cap has jumped from one batsman to another, the Purple Cap has been with Bhuvi ever since he earned it. The only bad over Bhuvi bowled was in the game against Pune where a dangerous looking MSD clobbered him for 19 off the penultimate over. Before and after that, Bhuvi has rarely conceded more than 7 or 8 runs, a feat incredible considering he regularly bowls in death as well.

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is an important asset for India. His extraordinary swing, immaculate pace and impeccable accuracy is winning his Team important games.