IND vs ENG: Consistency In Practice Holds Key For Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar's return to top-flight cricket from a thigh injury, sustained in IPL 2020, appears sudden and smooth due to his performance in the recent T20 series against England.
But behind the success has been a significant amount of work and some doubts on whether he will be fit prior to IPL 2021. The right-arm pacer, who was the most economical bowler across the two sides with a rate of 6.38 an over, simulated match conditions and put in the hard yards while practicing his variations and swing bowling at a Noida ground.
Ahead of the Indian Premier League 2020 edition, he practiced for close to two months in Noida. He was ruled out of IPL due to thigh muscle injury during a match in the league phase of the cash-rich tournament, but post recuperation, he returned for about a fortnight's practice - about a week before Mushtaq Ali T20s as well as a week ahead of Vijay Hazare one-dayers.
"I think this performance (in T20Is vs England) is a reward for his commitment. After playing 10-12 years of cricket, you tend to think it is okay to just go and bowl in the match. But even before the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy or Vijay Hazare Trophy, he would come daily after confirming the practice timings."
"And to bowl for an hour and 40-45 minutes - that shows commitment," said Tanmay Srivastava, the former UP Ranji Trophy player, who is now coaching at the Wonders Cricket Club where Bhuvneshwar practiced alongside Karan Sharma and Unmukt Chand.