India’s fast-bowling lineup has been the talk of the town since the conclusion of the World Test Championship Final between New Zealand and India. Several cricket experts believe Bhuvneshwar Kumar should have been in playing in the final as he could have been a more lethal bowler in Southampton’s condition. Salman Butt is the latest player to add his voice to the chorus.
Southampton’s pitch was green and the persistent rain made the conditions more suitable for pacers, swing bowlers to be precise. India fielded with Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami – who are all hit the deck bowlers. While Ishant and Shami bowled well in the first innings, Bumrah played a wicketless game and looked off-colour in the final.
During the final, Nasser Hussain pointed out how India missed a trick by not having Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the Indian squad, who is the best swing bowler in the country.
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt also mentioned Bhuvi’s absence was notable during the WTC Final and he is India’s best swing bowler.
“I feel Bhuvneshwar Kumar should have been in India. After all, he is the best swing bowler India has. They didn’t even bring him along. The amount of swing and seam that was on offer on this pitch, he should have been there. The fast bowlers who played the final are all ‘hit the deck’ bowlers,” Salman Butt said on Cricket Baaz with Waheed Khan.
Shami bowled with fire in the first innings and single-handedly pulled India back into the game. His four-wicket burst on the fifth day was the best bowling spell among the Indian bowlers in that game. However, as the game progressed, he started looking tired and didn’t get the same support from the other end.
Bhuvi has a terrific record in Tests on English soil, playing five Test matches and managing 19 wickets including two fifers speaks about his calibre.
Butt believes Bhuvi’s skillsets falls in the same bracket as that of James Anderson, England’s greatest fast bowler.
“In terms of bowlers who release the bowlers and swing it, Bhuvneshwar… he comes in the same category as James Anderson. He is that kind of a bowler. So, I thought he would have been better off but again, it’s their team. They know more about the players and think tank. Perhaps they decided what was best for them. But I feel he should have been here and even now he should be a must for England Test,” Butt added.