Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 19 wickets in the 5- Test series England earlier in 2014 © Getty Images
Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 19 wickets in the five-match Test series against England earlier in 2014 © Getty Images

Nov 22, 2014

For Bhuvneshwar Kumar, like any other bowler, rhythm is the key. It has served him well in the past and he would hope when India go up against Australia his rhythm does not desert him.

“A batsman is in the zone. A bowler is in rhythm. If you are in rhythm you find things are happening very easily. It doesn’t matter what kind of conditions you are playing in,” the medium-pacer said in an exclusive interview to Indian Express. “You don’t feel that you are doing something for the first time. For example if I go to Australia and I am in good rhythm I will never feel that this place or condition is new to me,” he added.

“When you are in rhythm you never find the hardness or softness of the ground. When you are not in good rhythm you always realise that this surface is very hard or this surface is very soft. In good rhythm you just concentrate on bowling. I haven’t had a lot of experience in internationals but I can make out just by his running whether a fast bowler is in a good rhythm or not,” Bhuvneshwar said.

In England he often had the batsmen in trouble. His plans for the batsmen are already well laid out. “Batsmen know that I swing the ball both ways so they will be ready for that. My goal is to delay what they think I am going to do until the last moment. That, however, is something that doesn’t usually happen,” he advanced.

“The batsman isn’t a fool. He knows what I am thinking. He will consciously plan not to get out in that manner. If he does get out, he usually gets out some other way because that’s not where his focus is. So if the plan is to get a batsman out caught behind, I will probably only get him out that way around 20 percent of the time,” Bhuvneshwar added.

He quickly realised that pace was not his greatest strength and therefore he has tried to make the most of his ability to swing the ball prodigiously. “I have always known that my strength has been to swing the ball. At whatever level I played, I took wickets because of swing, not because of pace. That doesn’t mean that I won’t try and get stronger so I can bowl faster but I won’t try to get faster by compensating with my swing,” he put forth.

Bhuvneshwar did contribute with the bat in the first few Tests but he is not getting ahead of himself although he says whenever he will get the opportunity he will try and contribute as much as possible. “I have never been picked as an all rounder for any team and I don’t want that tag either. Whenever I get a chance I want to contribute to my team. But I am not going to suddenly become the next Kapil Dev. And neither do I want to be one,” said the medium-pacer.

Although he has played a mere 11 Tests Bhuvneshwar along with Ishant Sharma is likely to lead the attack, however, he lets known that he is adept at handling pressure. “Even when I made my debut, I didn’t feel pressure. I find it easier to play according to the situation. I have an idea of what to expect so there isn’t any fear about what is going to happen. I know that the ball isn’t going to swing or do as much as it was doing in England. It’s about adapting and I think I will be able to do that,” he said.