Home > Features >

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s form vital for India in tour of England 2014

Bhuvneshwar Kumar needs to deliver the goods for India in England © Getty Images
Bhuvneshwar Kumar needs to deliver the goods for India in England © Getty Images

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the bowler most likely to lead India’s bowling attack at the start of their five-match Test series against England. His abilities to swing the ball will be of utmost importance on friendly surfaces. But his returns weren’t good in India’s tour match against Leicestershire. Shrikant Shankar believes if India are to achieve positive results in England, then Bhuvneshwar has to be in top form.

As India’s tour match against Leicestershire ended, one fact came out glaringly. India’s bowlers are not top class when it comes to Test cricket. Sure it was only a tour match, but these thoughts have been in the minds of the ones following the game for a while. It has been long since India won a Test series away from home. In fact, it has been almost an equal time before India won a Test away from home. Bowlers are supposed to win Test matches by taking 20 wickets. India’s bowlers do not seem like doing so.

Sri Lanka beat England 1-0 in the recent Test series. But a stronger Indian team on paper still does not give the impression of pulling off a similar heist. India have selected seven seam/swing bowlers in their enormous squad for the tour of England. All the seven bowled in the tour match against Leicestershire. Only three wickets fell to those bowlers. Ishant Sharma got two wickets, but received a pasting from Angus Robson and Greg Smith. Another bowler who proved to be expensive was Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The swing bowler gave away 46 runs off seven overs at an economy-rate of 6.57.

While one could make out that the pitch at Grace Road was more suited to the batsmen, there was still enough in it for the bowlers. Bhuvneshwar is India’s attack leader and the conditions in England, according to history, favour his type of swing bowling. Bhuvneshwar could not get his length right throughout his seven-over spell. He bowled far too full in search of swing and got hammered by Robson, who scored 126 off 146 deliveries. Bhuvneshwar conceded 10 fours in those seven overs — that is far too many for an international bowler.

The spinners bail the swing/seam bowlers out in Indian conditions on a regular basis. But overseas, especially in England, the faster bowlers must be the ones taking the wickets. Ishant had a very good Test series away against New Zealand, but one really doesn’t know what to expect from him after all these years. Mohammed Shami and Varun Aaron are relatively new to international cricket, but they offer some pace. Bhuvneshwar, though, doesn’t bowl that quickly. His 80 mph deliveries are not going to trouble many batsmen, even if he does swing the ball.

Bhuvneshwar has to find the right lengths and surprise the batsmen with his ability to swing the ball both ways without much change in his bowling action. England lost the Test series against Sri Lanka, but many of their batsmen got in amongst the runs with some centuries. India are well capable of letting the likes of Alastair Cook, who has been out of form, to score the big runs again. Bhuvneshwar has proved to be less useful when the ball becomes old, so, it is imperative for him to take the wickets upfront.

His form in Test cricket too has not been great. He didn’t play a single Test match against South Africa and New Zealand away in the past one year. While one does not expect him to run through batting line-ups [although that would be welcomed], Bhuvneshwar needs to do his bit by taking wickets at the top. If Bhuvneshwar is in form during the five-Test series against England, then India have a better chance of getting some positive results in the much-awaited Test series.

Catch all details of India’s tour of England here

(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 4: Robin Bist completes half-century

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Robin Bist completes half-century

BCCI may file $42 million lawsuit against WICB for India tour pullout

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Muttiah Muralitharan insists Virat Kohli a huge asset for India

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Robin Bist completes 4,000 First Class runs

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here