Bhuvneshwar offers plenty of promise

It was a delight to watch Bhuvneshwar Kumar operating against Pakistan in the first T20 at Bangalore, beating batsmen for swing at not so inconsiderable pace.

Seldom has a youngster impressed on debut like Bhuvneshwar, and his three-wicket haul had talent and potential written all over it, not to mention the fine temperament he showed in a high-voltage clash against Pakistan. His performance may have also come at the right at time when India are looking for successors for Zaheer Khan.

It’s not that India’s fast bowling cupboard is totally empty, but promising pacers like Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron have been side-lined with injuries, while Ishant Sharma is yet to show signs of his readiness to be the pace spearhead. In that context, India need to wrap bowlers like Bhuvneshwar, Parvinder Awana and Ashok Dinda in cotton, and use them judiciously.

India can follow Australia’s method here. No other country has been brimming with as much pace bowling talent as the Aussies. They have Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins and Johnson Bird in their ranks, and the way they rotate the workload between them is quite outstanding.

For example, Starc had set up an Australian win at Hobart against Sri Lanka, and he was rested for the on-going Test at Melborune. There was no injury scare, but Aussie authorities firmly believe that he should be allowed sufficient rest in view of the upcoming Test series against India and England, and Bird, who had a good domestic season for Tasmania should be given a chance.

The same approach can be adopted by India as well, considering the high-profile series on their way. Indian skipper Dhoni agreed. “We still have some way to go before saying that whether we have a good support line of pace bowlers because after all Awana, Dinda and Bhuvneshwar haven’t played that many matches. But yes, the potential is there, and we need to encourage them, and handle them well in the coming days,” said Dhoni.

Bhuvneshwar had showed us that he has skill and, more importantly, temperament and a ticking brain. The way he foxed Umar Akmal was simply superb. The Uttar Pradesh lad troubled the younger Akmal with two outgoing deliveries, and then brought one back to castle the Pakistani batsman. It was the oldest two-card trick of pace bowling executed in fine fashion.

“Obviously, he (Dhoni) must have thought that I am not a surprise package and would have expected me to perform well,” said Bhuvneshwar on Thursday about his debut.
So, the youngster has made a good beginning, and now it’s our turn to preserve him and transform him to a long-term commodity.

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