The T20 World Cup is not far away now, with the first match scheduled exactly four months from today. It will be played in Australia, where the defending champions clearly have an advantage over others. India look to shape their plans through the ongoing series and the other series that are scheduled in coming time. Australia have those tracks which assist the seamers a lot more than spinners. So, clearly, India would be relying a lot more on their seam attack spearheads Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel. There’s still two positions left in that department that are not fixed yet, and former South African pacer Dale Steyn believes veteran Bhuvneshwar Kumar can be a possible option.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been fantastic in the ongoing series, with both his tight bowling and wicket-taking ability at full display. He was especially sensational in the second T20I, where his seam movement troubled the top-order batters. He produced figures of 4 for 13, before another good performance in the third T20I. His knuckle ball have tricked the batters for a fair few amount of times.
There has never been a question on Bhuvi’s ability as a seamer. But it’s the injuries that have troubled him a lot recently. In recent years, Bhuvi has faced a series of injuries like back, hamstring and thigh injury. But Steyn still feels that Bhuvi is now a lot more well-balanced with his fitness and recovery process.
Steyn Highlights Bhuvi’s Knuck-Ball Ability
“It’s not easy to run in and bowl those knuckle balls,” Steyn said on an ESPNcricinfo show. “It takes a lot of confidence and skill to bowl a knuckle ball. And Bhuvi has clearly got all of that. It’s no surprise that he has bowled as well as he has tonight. He is that good.
“He was lacking something a couple of months ago and he seems to have found it now. He looks a lot more confident now. When I was with him at the IPL a couple of months back, it looked like he had lost a little bit of pace. He was operating between that 125 to 130kph, especially at the T20 World Cup in Dubai [the UAE]. When we got to the IPL, he seemed to have upped his pace a little bit. He was operating between 133 and 137, sometimes touching 140, you know the one odd ball.
He played every game at the IPL. He knew he was going to play and he was able to showcase his skills. He got some rhythm, he got some form, and bang.”