Bhuvneshwar Kumar backs himself to excel with old ball as well

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has impressed with his bowling skills in the ongoing IPL 2013 tournament © PTI

By Kushan Sarkar

Raipur: Apr 28, 2013

Talented India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar wants to change the popular perception that he won’t be as effective with the old ball as much as he is with the new ball.

“It’s true that I have got wickets with the new ball in Test matches but that doesn’t mean that I can’t bowl with the old ball. Even during the Australia Test series, I have bowled a number of overs with the old ball. I have full confidence that I can be equally effective with the old ball too, Bhuvneshwar told PTI during an exclusive interview.

Bhuvneshwar’s comments came close on the heels of Ishant Sharma’s view that the Uttar Pradesh seamer is good with new ball while he does better with old ball.

The 21-year-old also surprised one and all as he put up a decent performance during the four-Test series against Australia where he got six wickets, including early breakthroughs of the top-order batsmen like David Warner and Shane Watson.

“People forget that I have grown up playing on Indian tracks and have bowled huge number of overs on unresponsive Indian tracks. Therefore, I have a fair idea about what length to bowl on these tracks. Also I was a bit lucky that the conditions suited my style of bowling,” Bhuvneshwar elaborated.

The UP youngster feels that Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s calmness has also helped him a lot.

“He is a cool customer. He doesn’t speak a lot but obviously will give you his little inputs. But what I like about him is that he never loses his cool even when the bowler gets hit. He is always encouraging,” said ‘Bhuvi’, as he is affectionately known in the cricketing circles.

During Chris Gayle’s murderous knock of 175 against Pune Warriors, Bhuvneshwar was the only bowler who came out unscathed giving away just 23 runs from his four overs.

“My basic strength is to swing the ball and keep it within the channel of three stumps. Since I have bowled to Gayle earlier, I had done some homework and luckily for me, it worked. I was happy to hit the right area that day,” Bhuvneshwar said.

“I am happy with my performance till now in IPL but we (Pune) need to do well collectively to win most of the remaining matches. It is not impossible I believe,” he reasoned.

Indian team’s next international assignment is the Champions Trophy in England in June and Bhuvneshwar is expected to play a key role in seaming conditions there.

“There is no pressure on me and I don’t want to think too much about Champions Trophy. Also even the pitches in England can be flat these days,” he said.

He is a veteran of 50 first-class matches already and firmly believes that at this level, a coach can’t teach a player much.

“I am grateful to Allan Donald for his guidance and subtle nuances that he taught me. I also learnt a few things from national bowling coach Joe Dawes but at this level these coaches can’t teach you how to bowl. That one does by putting in the hard yards. What the coaches can do is to tell you small things like whether to bowl fuller length at a batsman or try the back of length stuff.”

Praveen Kumar’s on and off-the field antics hasn’t got him much appreciation for obvious reasons but for Bhuvneshwar, ‘PK’ was and still remains his idol.

“I have grown up watching him (Praveen) and wanted to be a genuine swing bowler like him. About his temperament and behaviour, I won’t comment but he is a large-hearted fellow, who has always supported me. Those who don’t know him personally can form any opinion about him but that won’t change my opinion,” he said.