England v India, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 2nd day July 18, 2014

Bhuvneshwar thanks Praveen's advice


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'More to come tomorrow' - Bhuvneshwar

They could be twins. They amble up off a small run, keep the seam upright, use the wrist, swing the ball each way, were born in Meerut, play for Uttar Pradesh, love bowling in England, and are handy batsmen lower down the order. Except Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the calmer, more subdued, version of Praveen Kumar. On a day that Bhuvneshwar kept India in the Test with 4 for 46 in 23 testing overs, he acknowledged Praveen's contribution to his success.

The last time India came to England, Praveen was India's most effective bowler on a horror tour. It was only natural that before embarking on this journey, Bhuvneshwar gave Praveen a call, who is sidelined now for what seems forever.

"Praveen Kumar is my idol and I have watched him a lot," Bhuvneshwar said. "I had a talk with him before I came here. He is like a big brother for me, and we play together for the same team. He still helps me with my bowling."

Praveen would only have reinforced Bhuvneshwar's basics: bowl at the stumps, bowl full, let the pitch and the atmosphere in England take full effect. With assistance from the other two quicks and despite a wicketkeeping slip letting Gary Ballance score a hundred, India put together a quite excellent day in the field: bowling with discipline, moving the ball, not letting England get away.

When asked if this was the best bowling day with spinners not involved in it that he had been part of, Bhuvneshwar responded in affirmative.

"The wicket became a bit easier for batsmen after the first session," Bhuvneshwar said. "We bowled in the right areas and kept them quiet. We did well to keep Ballance quiet, even his hundred was not an easy one. We didn't give any easy runs."

The jury might still be out on which of the Kumars is a better bowler, but Bhuvneshwar has already shown better batting technique and temperament than Praveen. With two fifties in the first Test and 36 important runs here, Bhuvneshwar is leading not only India's bowling but batting averages too.

"I have been enjoying batting in England," Bhuvneshwar said. "The partnership with Ajinkya was really satisfying. The ball was moving around, and we were in a bad situation, had lost seven wickets. So, from that point of view, it was a good effort and I think a better effort than in the first Test."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy on July 20, 2014, 2:53 GMT

    Undoubtedly Bhuvi is the best of Indian seamers today. Hey Man he can swing on any flat pitch, so why he can't in England. Today I remembered Ashish Winston Zaidi who is also a very good bowler and never tried by India. Poor selection policy. India will be better adviced to invest in good swing bowlers of 130 kph than Ishant and Varun Aaron of mediocre quality. Atleast Umesh yadav was more reliable than Ishant and he should have been playing here. You have forgotten that Umesh is also hailing from UP.

  • ESPN on July 19, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Replace Ishant with Pankaj Singh, Jadeja with Ashwin

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    Actions speak louder than words !!! So goes the saying and without a trace of doubt , Bhuvi has proved it to some extent. His batting performance for a so called tailender was better than some of the leading specialist batsmen in our team. - kohli, Dhawan, etc.

    For all you know he could be the next KAPIL DEV in the making. His gutsiness, willingness, determination, grit and a sense of purpose says it all. Given the time, chance and with some luck he could even be the FUTURE INDIA CAPTAIN. Well if we keep dreaming further can we or MAY we at some distance see him as either GARY SOBERS or KALLIS in the making !!! ......... Who knows cricket is a game of uncertainties, Even Wasim Akram the greatest left arm swing bowler of all time has scored 257 runs in a single innings !!!

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    I think in next test match, India should play with this tem: If Pitch would be Slow: 1. Aswin should replace Binny. 2. Pandey should replace Shami. If pitch would be fast: 1. Ashwin should replace Jadeja. 2. V.Aaron should replace shami. 3. I.Pandey should replace Binnny.

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Praveen and Bhuvi...I love these 2 to death. They have the biggest hearts in all of Indian cricket. They run in until the sun goes down and will run themselves into the ground if the captain demands it. Best of all they will do it with a smile on their face as they have shown in this and the previous series. It would be a dream to one day see them bowling in tandem in a test match.

    On a side note...poor Cook cant catch a break. Last time it was Praveen that was knocking over his off pole all the time and this time its his apprentice.

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    If Binny is not bowling approximately 10 - 12 miserly overs in an England innings, his bowling is not worth much to India. 10 overs in an innings at 3.5+ can be bowled by a combination of Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma, replace Binny with a better bat. ...Having said that, the Indian 2nd Innings should be the last option for Dhawan - if he fails, replace him with Gambhir who being less flashy should have come in ahead of Dhawan as an opener in English conditions in any case.

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    This is a quite apt comparison as these two bowlers are strikingly similar. Swing bowling has always been India's strength rather than raw pace. Good that Bhuvneshwar has better temperament if we compare him with Praveen. We hope that Dhoni and management utilizes him well. Calm folks like Bhuvi and Rahane would be the key to India's future in cricket and especially test cricket. His last three scores must provide Bhuvi the confidence and he should recognize his worth in the team and should go further up on this rather than being complacent. He has examples as Praveen (a good swing bowler) and Irfan (good swing bowler and reasonable batsman) which he should keep in mind whenever complacency hovers him.

  • Naresh on July 19, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    What little we saw of Praveen in the IPL showed he is a capable bowler. He should have been there in England. Bhuvi needs another wicket taker at the other end. So far he has been the lone striker. Its time we changed the others and introduce one or two other pacers. Jadeja is not getting the wickets.

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    Praveen Kumar could swing the ball more prodigiously than Bhuvi. However, Bhuvi is temperamentally the stronger of the two, and definitely the better batsman. Praveen was more a tailender, who could sometimes tonk the ball. Bhuvi looks set for a long career.

  • Kuldeep on July 19, 2014, 1:04 GMT

    Good young cricketer, shows too much obsession with a speed gun, he is the one India should nourish as an all rounder.

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