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'I'm at my best,' says Vinay Kumar

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 13, 2014

Comments: 43 | Text size: A | A

Vinay Kumar celebrates dismissing David Warner, Australia v India, Commonwealth Bank Series, 1st ODI, Melbourne, February 5, 2012
Vinay Kumar has 23 wickets at 10.30 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy © Getty Images
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Karnataka have already won this year's Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup, and are now in the semi-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Their captain Vinay Kumar has been instrumental to their success, taking 17 wickets in the Ranji knockout stage and a ten-wicket haul in the Irani Cup.

Vinay has backed that up with 23 wickets at 10.30 to top the Vijay Hazare bowling charts. "I would say I'm at my best at the moment. I am happy with the way I'm performing," Vinay said on the eve of Karnataka's Vijay Hazare Trophy semi-final against Jharkhand.

After a difficult one-day series against Australia last year, Vinay lost his place in the national team but was hopeful of making a comeback. "I've been performing well in whatever matches I played. Be it Ranji or Irani, I've been doing well. The rest is up to the selectors. Every match is important for me and I want to contribute in our team's win."

The pitches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy knockout phase have been favourable to seamers, which Vinay felt would prepare batsmen for overseas conditions. "It's challenging for batsmen where they can improve their batting. When we go abroad, these kind of wickets will definitely help them perform really well. If we play 10 games, we get these kind of wickets in only one or two games."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 15:12 GMT)

I don't think Vinay Kumar has the pace nor the variation to succeed at the international level. Even in the last 2 matches in the Vijay Hazare trophy, he has given away 85 and 70 runs. That is not encouraging. If domestic batsmen can belt you around like that, think what Australian and other international batsmen would do.

Posted by suremv on (March 15, 2014, 6:46 GMT)

Every bowler takes time before he matures into a strike bowler. Vinay has definitely improved leaps and bound by captaining Karnataka through the Ranji trophy,Irani trophy and now the Vijay Hazare trophy. So there's absolutely no truth that a India discard cannot get his place back and perform better than his earlier stint. VK is nearly ready for fresh stint with the Indian team what with even some of the illustrious indian bowlers firing blanks presently !!!

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

@karunk I mean 140+ with line and length. we want zaheers replacement

Posted by RajeshNaik on (March 14, 2014, 16:22 GMT)

Vinay played against England in India and India won the series. Vinay Kumar palyed in the tri series in Australia and India entered the final. Vinay did not play in the final, India lost. Vinay played one match in the tri series in Bangaldesh and India won the match. After that he was injured and India lost all matches. Vinay was part of the team in Champions Trophy in England and India won. India went to West Indies and Vinay played in the tri series final and India won. Whole of Champions Trophy and whole of Tri series he sat on the bench i,e for 2 months and then Dhoni played him in the final and he returned with figures 6-0-16-0! Then India went to Zimbabwe and won the ODI series with Vinay in the team, but his performance was average. Then Australia came to India and India won the one off T20 match & the ODI series with VK in the team. After this series VK was dropped. India lost the ODI series in New Zealand. Lost in the Asia Cup badly. Still people criticise! Gos help them. Om!

Posted by RajeshNaik on (March 14, 2014, 15:46 GMT)

Let him play and do well. If selectors think that he needs to be given a chance let them. But that does not mean Vinay has changed anything. He has been bowling like this all the time. Him commitment, hard work, work ethics are exemplary. He is the best fielder among the fast bowlers we have. Never misfields and never drops a catch. And moreover he is always alert on the boundary unlike the present opening bowler of India from UP who bowls a tight over and then goes and relaxes on the boundary standing way inside and letting the ball fly over his head. Our great cricket fans and reporters do not observe these cricketing points. VK never bowls to control the runs, he bowls to take wickets. Even in Australia series where VK haters had a field time, chose to forget that he was the one who provided the breakthroughs despite giving away runs. India is lucky to have cricketer like him who would not mind sitting on the bench and give 100% while on the field. Well done, Vinay.

Posted by suremv on (March 14, 2014, 15:43 GMT)

VK has had a terrific season and very consistent in his performance.His performance is commendable considering the batsman friendly pitches in India. He is definitely not far away from a India call up if he continues to perform in the same fashion.

Posted by TimeKiller on (March 14, 2014, 14:47 GMT)

Come on guys.. 54 wickets from the last 11 matches (in both list A and first-class formats), how can you argue with that? Lack of pace? What is the use of pace if there is no control? Look at Varun Aaron, utter rubbish bowler, look at his stats, just pathetic. Please understand that there are different forms of bowling, pace is just one of them and it does not work everywhere. Vinay did bowl badly against Australia, but then who didn't, every single Indian bowler was horrible in that series. Vinay bowled beautifully against England in the ODI series in India, you guys don't remember that, selective amnesia I see. Let Vinay open the bowling for India and see how the wickets will tumble. Let him play in England and see how much better he is, than Ishant. When the conditions are suitable for swing bowling, Vinay is the best bowler in India at the moment.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

Vinay is a thinking bowler. His pace or lack of it is his best weapon. There is little use of having bowlers throwing the cherry at 140+ without length and direction. It is most important to make batsmen play and get them to commit mistakes. India's current new ball bowlers fail the test there. Vinay and Rahul Shukla were impressive in the Ranji Trophy and the current tournament from that perspective.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

if he says the same thing after performing in a tough international series or against a touring international side then fine... he has always had domestic success but not good enough for the national team

Posted by whippingBails on (March 14, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

VK has done excellent job, 23 wickets @10.30 is no joke. Everyone in this tournament is India potential or India discard, so whoever says he will not succeed in international scene is misguided. I think mentally VK has grown last year while leading KA to ranji and Irani trophy. At this rate KA could win the Asia cup all by itself. Go VK and his boys. As they 90% is all mental and VK is peace mentally whie leading his sides to multiple wins. This should surely shut up his critics for a while.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 14:04 GMT)

Biso. I am with you mate. Amen.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 14:00 GMT)

KarunK. Are you serious? Did you see Vinay's bowling in the Australia series? I have never seen a bowler who against learning from his mistakes. I can remember instances when he was hit of a particular length. A couple of balls later he bowled an identical ball and was hit to the same place and in the same way. And this is not an isolated incident. Vinay is not good enough to play international cricket.

Posted by tarun_arun on (March 14, 2014, 13:08 GMT)

probably the worst bowler to have played international cricket..........big misfit

Posted by IndTheBest on (March 14, 2014, 12:36 GMT)

Definitely Vinay Kumar has performed well in this tournament and that's a favor to himself. This is one step forward getting back into the team. However, I'd be little bit more patient before drafting him back as he has god many chances in past and one hammering in international would be sufficient to torn his confidence apart. I'd suggest him to perform consistently for another season or two to get in the team for long run. Right now one of his team mates who deserves more to look in is Robin Uthappa. See his last 8-10 innings and you'd know that he is very consistent and he can form and deadly opening partnership combination with C Pujara to get in the team. My recommendation to get Robin Uthappa and Pujara both for opening, followed by Kohli and Yuvraj. One out of Manoj Tiwary/Rohit Sharma/Raina can be #5. Dhoni being at #6 and reserve #7 for fast bowling alrounder from Irfan/R Dhawan/Binny/Shulka then we have usual struggle in bowling.

Posted by Karunk on (March 14, 2014, 12:00 GMT)

@Guru Abhilash - You want bowlers at 140? You had Aaron bowling 140+ in Newzealand. How did it help? It did help Newzealand. They clobbered Aaron more than 8+runs per over. He was removed from the attack when he started bowling beamers in Asia Cup. Where is the other 140+ bowler Umesh Yadav? He is completely lost. Along with pace, bowler needs length, line, direction, swing and variation in one day & T20 format which Vinay has.

Posted by RajeshNaik on (March 14, 2014, 11:55 GMT)

At Last! Cricinfo considers VK worth of an article. A small one that is. But still good to see one article. As VK put it, his job is to perform. Rest is up to selectors. But the irony is majority of cricinfo readers do not want to see him fail in domestic matches! Incorrigibles!!!

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (March 14, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

He is hardworking. But his lack of pace made it easy for batsman to go after him. No need to give another chance to these tested and failed players.

Posted by passion4indiancric on (March 14, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

If the selectors can pick Mohit Sharma and the likes in bowling and Rohit Sharma and the likes in batting, I think Vinay and Uthappa are way better. Unfortunately Vinay did get a battering recently but so did the other bowlers, what was Zaheer's performance in pacer friendly conditions recently. Whoever talks of 140 kmph should look at Philander's pace and then make these statements. Unfortunately as someone said Vinay is not from Chennai or Mumbai, that is the main problem

Posted by Biso on (March 14, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

He claims he is back at his best. It is a more scary situation than the lack of sting in Indian bowling at the moment. His inclusion into the team will sting India bad and fans will be left tearing their hair in frustration. I hope and pray he is never chosen for the Indian team again. Never. Pray guys pray!

Posted by Biso on (March 14, 2014, 9:03 GMT)

This pretender should stop dreaming of playing for India again. Aaron, Shukla and Umesh Yadav should be given enough matches to hone up their skills. Bhuvi is way better than Vinay as he is likely to strike with the new ball in swinging conditions. Off course the moment the ball gets older he will struggle and look club level. For all his skills he is no Chaminda Vaas. Period. Pace is a rare commodity and we must not loose it. Please have patience with the true fast men we have. Trundlers like Vinay Kumar are dime a dozen. We already saw what happened to Mohit Sharma. Just another quicker trundler as compared to Vinay.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (March 14, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

I think this is the right time to give a chance to Vinay Kumar,Rahul Shukla,and Robin Uthappa. As bowlers, I have not seen anyone improve so much by themselves in recent times as I have seen these two. Vinay has every trick in a medium pacer's book, His pace is in the region of 134/135 kmph which is enough to take wickets even if it is not enough to break limbs. Cricket is more about the former whatever Douglas Jardine may have visualised. Shukla on the other hand is the other half of the Jharkhand bowling attack. He has shown how good he is in the IPL where I believe he has picked up a great deal of self confidence his rusticity notwithstanding. With Fletcher and possibly Dhoni on their way out as far as leadership is concerned, I think for the world cup, these two could be added to the pace attack India has. Shami Shukla, Yadav and Aaron could be very good with someone like Fanie de Villiers Shaun Pollock or Wasim Akram guiding them. The selectors have to first remove their blinkers.

Posted by scarrule on (March 14, 2014, 6:33 GMT)

Ravindra jadeja is the best bowler we have right now. His odi ranking and his economy rate speaks volume of it.

Posted by prakash_mishra on (March 14, 2014, 6:16 GMT)

If any of us think that he is the perfect reply to the Pace bowler scarcity that is haunting team India currently, then that person is completely wrong. He is good only for domestic circuit, where lesser batsmen are not able to play such an average bowler. It should raise some concern about the batting talent at the domestic level. He does not have pace, no swing and will be and has been an easy prey at the hands of International Batsmen. NO matter how bad is B.Kumar, he is still way better than Vinay.I think Aaron and Yadav need match practice. Few expensive spells should be overlooked and they need to be persisted with. Both of them along with M.Shami should be the bowling line-up for England tour and coming up subsequent series and till the world cup.Pace is a deadly weapon but it needs to be associated with sharp control. Aaron and Yadav need better bowling coach and bit of freedom. This combination should be tried for a while. I hope they are wise enough to follow this advice.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 6:13 GMT)

Vinay yu are realy good bowler bt what to do yu are in nt chennai..or bombay thats problem go bombay imdeatly selecting . yu and robin diserve in indian cap ..consistency performers both bt patil he is maharashtra . binny is only sitting and waching that all so who selcting so ply fr karnatka 5 years thats all this selectore nt giving respect to talent..they giving they state players ..rohoth .raina .varun..buvanesh ..shoul drop bt who have guts Rahane 27 maches 2 half cenchury he is nt fitt oneday and t20 bt selctere giving chances ..whst about ..Robin..kedar..vinay ..karun..

Posted by Arjun_M on (March 14, 2014, 4:51 GMT)

All those complaining about Vinay Kumar's lack of pace and lack of success beyond Ranji- would you still have faith in Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav across formats, match after match? And give them as many ODIs as Ravindra Jadeja got? Would you base your selections on IPL performances, where you can, at least, get top internationals playing in the domestic scene?

And if he needs to make it back as an all-rounder, he's got the batting figures to back him up- average of 40 in Ranji, average a little under 25 in Hazare.

If you're scared of Vinay Kumar coming back, you already are stuck with permanent fixtures like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja, who struggle to get more than one wicket a game. Surely he can come in for one of these?

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 3:46 GMT)

ya we want fast bowler's who can bowl at 140

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 3:14 GMT)

If our domestic batsmen can't play Vinay Kumar it doesn't speak well of India's batting stocks and their technique. This is one factor in explaining our deteriorating overseas performances. The gulf between international and domestic bowling is so wide, pretty soon Indian cricketers will only be fit to play the IPL.

Posted by thaikkathameed on (March 14, 2014, 2:44 GMT)

Vinay u r the best in domestic cricket only and please continue there. We don't want u oin the international cricket scene. Calling yourself a fast bowler LOL and bowling at 120-127 KPH you are really a very fast bowler for domestic cricket. You are cannon fodder for foreign players. Hope you still remember the Aussie nightmare. Selectors, for the sake of Indian cricket please don't pick him for international matches. We have better player in india, give a chance to Easwar pandey, Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Singh, etc. etc,

Posted by Cric-Aus-SL on (March 14, 2014, 1:42 GMT)

Ohh my god! this guy again in to national team?

Posted by Army_rangers on (March 14, 2014, 1:36 GMT)

For all those who are complaining about vinay's pace and giving example of steyn n johnson,why dnt u look at aaron who is fast but just go fr runs without taking wicket..to become successful bowler,evryone no need to be steyn or mj,just look at philander,he dnt bwl at 150 but still he is successful bowler..one reason for vinay gave runs in aussie series is it was completely flat tracks even lightning mj went for runs..so give the credit where it is due,taking 50 wickets in 10 matches is not a small thing.

Posted by vivDel on (March 13, 2014, 23:23 GMT)

Guys chill... ! he has done very well in domestic level please give credit to that. It is not fair comparing him to Steyn and Johnson but I feel he can definitely be compared with our current India's international frontline seamers. Before measuring Vinay for his speed against Steyn and Johnson please try using the same yard stick for Shami, Bhuvi .. and company and see what you find out.

Posted by rohanblue on (March 13, 2014, 23:18 GMT)

I'm at my best,' says Vinay Kumar, bring him in the team and he will be at his worst, last time i saw him bowling in an international match, james faulkner was playing gully cricket with his bowling, with a population of 1.2 billion, i assume atleast 5 million people playing cricket(which is more than the whole population of newzeland) , and we still dnt have a decent fast bowler, something seriously wrong with the system or administration........

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 20:32 GMT)

mr vinay......actually your a good bowler but to say the fact I am street cricketer and my speed is around 135 - 142 constantly.......think your lucky atleast to be in ranji team......improve bacha

Posted by CricketMakdi on (March 13, 2014, 19:55 GMT)

Work hard bowl a bit fast may be 135. Nowadays you are bowling at 125-128 thats slow. If you are not swinging you are a dummy, think about it.

There are so many in your mould Anureet, Bumrah bla bla.

Posted by srgnsh1 on (March 13, 2014, 19:47 GMT)

@siddhartha87...Well said....We have bowlers who can at 120 to mid 135...those are not fast...Should watch steyn,Morkel n Johnson bowling at 140 consistently...

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 19:44 GMT)

you can easily find fast bowler like easily at school level cricket

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 19:43 GMT)

Vinay Kumar, why do you want to be a lousy bowler in international bowler when you can be a good bowler at the domestic level? It wasnt that you went for runs in the Australia series that bothers me but the fact that you kept running in to bowl length balls again and again even though you were being carted for bowling it. Skill means being able to alter your line and length as per the situation. Wish you all the best and hope you dont play for India again.

Posted by srgnsh1 on (March 13, 2014, 19:38 GMT)

Vinay u r the best only in Ranji.....Plz continue the same...We don't want u in the international cricket...

Selectors don't do the same crime by picking him....We have better player in india.....Give a chance to Easwar pandey,Rishi Dhawan,Rasool

Posted by wolf777 on (March 13, 2014, 19:30 GMT)

OMG. He is back!!! Well, good for him on personal level. However, I must agree siddhartha87 here. Vinay Kumar can be a second or third change bowler in the lineup; but, to qualify for that role he must be an allrounder. If Vinay Kumar is playing as a pure bowling play, RIP Indian fast bowling. His type of bowling is not fast and certainly does not bother opposition players a bit most of the time. His bowling is a diet that overseas batsmen grew up on. Apart from extremely helpful seam bowling conditions, he is hardly a match winner. Here is an example where domestic performance is fooling. Unless Vinay Kumar is an allrounder, there is no place for him in Test lineup. We already have another Kumar taking up that role!!!

Posted by VipulPatki on (March 13, 2014, 19:13 GMT)

When Vinay Kumar is at his best, opposition batsmen merely have to play him off for eight overs, milk him at 4 runs per over, and then slog the remaining two; unlike Johnson, who at his best can simply bounce half the team out. My advice to Vinay: Watch the Fire In Babyon. Perhaps that may inspire you to bowl a mile or two per hour quicker.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (March 13, 2014, 18:59 GMT)

if he is best fast bowler in Indian then i must say "RIP Indian fast bowling".By the way calling Vinay Kumar a fast bowler is insult to the likes of Steyn and Johnson

Posted by TimeKiller on (March 13, 2014, 18:25 GMT)

Congratulations Vinay Kumar, on grabbing 50 wickets from the last 10 matches (in both list A and first-class formats), Well done! Awesome performance! Let's get that 'Vijay Hazare Trophy' and it will be a hat trick for you as captain this year (since you already won Ranji and Irani Trophies).

Posted by TimeKiller on (March 13, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

Good job Vinay! Keep it up. One day you will get to bowl in England and the 'Vinay Haters' will realize how wrong they were in underestimating your swing.

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