West Indies v India, tri-series, Port-of-Spain July 6, 2013

What makes Bhuvneshwar a threat?

On the face of it Bhuvneshwar Kumar has no quality that's likely to catch a layman's fancy. But face him with a bat in hand and you'll know his worth
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If you were to make an assessment about a fast bowler, from a distance, what are the attributes that are likely to catch your eye? The first few would be a fast run-up, high jump, strong action, pace and bounce.

Those are exactly the virtues you won't find in India's best strike bowler at the moment. He gives the impression of just ambling in; his feet barely leave the ground as he loads up in his action. And since most of the time batsmen are on the front foot, it all gives the impression of a lack of pace. The wicketkeeper rarely collects his deliveries with the fingers pointing up, so even the bounce he gets isn't appreciable.

Prima facie, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has no quality that's likely to catch a layman's fancy. But to know his real worth, you need to stand at the other end with a bat in your hand. That's when you realise how one of the most innocuous-looking bowlers is also one of the toughest to handle, especially if he has the new ball and the pitch has a little bit of assistance for seamers.

So what makes Bhuvneshwar a serious threat?

Bowling close to the stumps and a high-arm action
Bhuvneshwar's approach to the crease reminds me of the great Shaun Pollock. Just like the South African, he gets really close to the stumps. The closer the bowler gets to the stumps, the tougher it gets for the batsman, for there are less pronounced angles to play with. The line of the ball is always in line with the stumps, which means the batsman has no choice but to play at most deliveries.

And if the positioning on the crease is complemented with a high-arm action, like it is for Bhuvneshwar, the problems increase manifold: you, as a batsman, can't play inside or outside the line of the delivery as you would for someone bowling with a round-arm action or from wide of the crease.

For example, if Lasith Malinga was bowling from close to the stumps with a new ball, a right-hand batsman would play outside the line of the bal, assuming that the ball would swing away from him. Similarly, you would play inside the line while facing Makhaya Ntini to account for the acute angle he created by bowling from the edge of the box.

Strong wrist position
The best way to swing the ball in the air and to get lateral movement off the deck is to release the ball with the seam bolt upright. The more still the seam is in the air, the better the chances that it will not only deviate in the air but also hit the pitch on the seam and dart around. While it sounds quite simple in theory, it's extremely difficult to execute, for to keep the seam upright at the point of release, the wrist needs to be strong and also right behind the ball. That's what Bhuvneshwar has; his immense control over his wrist allows him to not only release the ball with the seam upright but also allows him to make subtle changes (like pointing it towards slips or fine leg) by tilting his wrist to move the ball both ways. If you're able to do that with control, you will trouble the best batsmen.

A full length
Bhuvneshwar has neither the pace of Umesh Yadav nor the bounce of Ishant Sharma. What he does have is an understanding of the importance of hitting the right length time and again. He realises that since his strength is movement, he needs to pitch it a lot fuller, for the longer the ball stays in the air, the better the chances of it moving. Also, it's a length that batsmen, especially openers, hate in the early part of an innings. Bhuvneshwar is not afraid of being hit through the line and that quality allows him to find edges often, for it isn't possible for batsmen to always keep middling the ball when it is swinging.

While the match between West Indies and India is likely to be remembered for Virat Kohli's scintillating century, not mentioning the spell of quality bowling by Bhuvneshwar would be a grave injustice, for Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo and Kieron Pollard - the batsmen he dismissed - had the ability of changing the complexion, and perhaps the result, of the game.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | July 7, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    A good analysis of the technicalities- but you missed a few points. #1. He is a small town boy with a hunger and passion to succeed. #2. He is very unassuming, calm, composed and never shows off but definitely has steely nerves in that tiny body of his and his shoulders may not be broad and puffing muscles but for sure they are strong enough to carry the brunt of india's bowling in the future. #3. He is very sharp, calculative, analytical, studious and a good assessor of the situations and the batsman but by his looks he is so much deceiving which infact plays to his advantage. #4. He is not a rock star nor a demi-god and looks like his actions speak than words unlike so many others.

    My best wishes and prayers for him , and I strongly believe he will not be carried away by the name, fame and money and loses his innocence, he sure looks like a teenager, shy and very introvert among the batsman he resembles more like Dravid/Pujara. Hope he gives his best and get what he deserves.

  • POSTED BY pulkit10 on | July 7, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    Great article and correctly identifies Bhuvneshwar Kumar's strengths and the reasons for his success. Essentially, he is a bowler in the Philander/Pollock mold where discipline and accuracy are everything. People tend to make the same mistake with Philander. They underestimate bowlers like these even though they have been the most successful ones (Steyn being a major exception since he is Steyn). He also adds that dimension of control in the bowling unit because Yadav and Sharma are too unreliable on their own (proof: SL game).

    As for his comparison w/ Vinay/Praveen/Munaf/RP - none of them had the control. They relied on generating swing & maintaining a good line (mostly). Bhuvi has much greater control & is absolutely dead on with his line AND lengths. That's what separates mediocre bowlers from special ones. Let's see if he can justify the faith in him throughout his career. On Zaheer: forget about it & keep him for one format only, he is struggling with injuries and not much left.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    Bhuvneshawar Kumar is an excellent bowler no doubt. That he is rested for the Zimbabwe tour and the India A side though is surprising. He is slightly built but doesn't give the hint that he is exceeding himself. This was observed even during the Test matches where he was used sparingly. He has not played enough non stop cricket to be rested. Next he will play an international side is in October. There is no more cricket for him in July August and September. He should have been given ample match practice in Zimbabwe series and should have been rested for the List A matches which India A will play in South Africa only to be recalled for the two First Class matches. He should have been afforded a prior feel of the South African conditions where he might eventually end up as the only injury free seam bowler come November. All fast bowlers in India are precious and they need to be handled with care.

  • POSTED BY Cyril_Knight on | July 6, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    B Kumar is worthy of an article because he has attributes and does things that other Indian bowlers have rarely done. He has excellent control of the seam, because he keeps his wrist perfectly behind the ball. While he is not quick these two things ensure he gets nibble of the surface. There are no tricks to his bowling, he just knows what he wants to do with every ball and sticks to his strength.

    Accurate bowling with a little movement off the seam is unusual now in international cricket, yet prevalent in County Cricket in England. He seems to surprise batsmen and in ODIs when batters have to force the ball he lures them into false shots to get catches in slips.

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    The thing that stands out to me is how down to earth he is. So far he has shown no attitude, his celebrations after taking wickets arent over the top. His down to earth nature really shone through in the Champions League celebration, where some of our players were showing off their dance moves, and tried to become the centre of attention; He happily went through the whole thing with a smile, and no attitude. His attitude is what will make him a great player. I don't see him changing much with fame, he reminds me of Dravid in many ways. Let's hope he remains injury free.

  • POSTED BY santhu_lm on | July 10, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Superb article at the right time. Best thing is on the same day Bhuvaneshwar kumar has taken india to Final of the triangular series by taking 4 wickets.

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | July 9, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Let's see what BK can do today?

  • POSTED BY Pavinasen on | July 9, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Good analysis ,so that is why Bhuvaneshwar Kumar takes early wickets.He is going to be a big time player for india.He woould have been sorely missed in the India vs SL game.This is his chance in the coming game to prove how much he has been missed.

  • POSTED BY TRAM on | July 9, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    There are many bowlers such as Sreesanth, PK, IPathan, etc, swinging the ball both ways and bowling around 130. Sure there are. But Bhuvi has the 2 main ingredients: 1. Intelligence to set the batsman up (clear plan for each batsman). 2. Ability to pitch the ball on the exact spot (execution). First one comes by experience & exposure. Second one comes ONLY by sheer hard work - which is lacking in other bowlers and Bhuvi has it. Keep it up BK !

  • POSTED BY Prateek_PJ on | July 8, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    One more great thing about this strike bowler is that he can bat also. Can contribute with bat also when in need.

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | July 7, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    A good analysis of the technicalities- but you missed a few points. #1. He is a small town boy with a hunger and passion to succeed. #2. He is very unassuming, calm, composed and never shows off but definitely has steely nerves in that tiny body of his and his shoulders may not be broad and puffing muscles but for sure they are strong enough to carry the brunt of india's bowling in the future. #3. He is very sharp, calculative, analytical, studious and a good assessor of the situations and the batsman but by his looks he is so much deceiving which infact plays to his advantage. #4. He is not a rock star nor a demi-god and looks like his actions speak than words unlike so many others.

    My best wishes and prayers for him , and I strongly believe he will not be carried away by the name, fame and money and loses his innocence, he sure looks like a teenager, shy and very introvert among the batsman he resembles more like Dravid/Pujara. Hope he gives his best and get what he deserves.

  • POSTED BY pulkit10 on | July 7, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    Great article and correctly identifies Bhuvneshwar Kumar's strengths and the reasons for his success. Essentially, he is a bowler in the Philander/Pollock mold where discipline and accuracy are everything. People tend to make the same mistake with Philander. They underestimate bowlers like these even though they have been the most successful ones (Steyn being a major exception since he is Steyn). He also adds that dimension of control in the bowling unit because Yadav and Sharma are too unreliable on their own (proof: SL game).

    As for his comparison w/ Vinay/Praveen/Munaf/RP - none of them had the control. They relied on generating swing & maintaining a good line (mostly). Bhuvi has much greater control & is absolutely dead on with his line AND lengths. That's what separates mediocre bowlers from special ones. Let's see if he can justify the faith in him throughout his career. On Zaheer: forget about it & keep him for one format only, he is struggling with injuries and not much left.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    Bhuvneshawar Kumar is an excellent bowler no doubt. That he is rested for the Zimbabwe tour and the India A side though is surprising. He is slightly built but doesn't give the hint that he is exceeding himself. This was observed even during the Test matches where he was used sparingly. He has not played enough non stop cricket to be rested. Next he will play an international side is in October. There is no more cricket for him in July August and September. He should have been given ample match practice in Zimbabwe series and should have been rested for the List A matches which India A will play in South Africa only to be recalled for the two First Class matches. He should have been afforded a prior feel of the South African conditions where he might eventually end up as the only injury free seam bowler come November. All fast bowlers in India are precious and they need to be handled with care.

  • POSTED BY Cyril_Knight on | July 6, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    B Kumar is worthy of an article because he has attributes and does things that other Indian bowlers have rarely done. He has excellent control of the seam, because he keeps his wrist perfectly behind the ball. While he is not quick these two things ensure he gets nibble of the surface. There are no tricks to his bowling, he just knows what he wants to do with every ball and sticks to his strength.

    Accurate bowling with a little movement off the seam is unusual now in international cricket, yet prevalent in County Cricket in England. He seems to surprise batsmen and in ODIs when batters have to force the ball he lures them into false shots to get catches in slips.

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    The thing that stands out to me is how down to earth he is. So far he has shown no attitude, his celebrations after taking wickets arent over the top. His down to earth nature really shone through in the Champions League celebration, where some of our players were showing off their dance moves, and tried to become the centre of attention; He happily went through the whole thing with a smile, and no attitude. His attitude is what will make him a great player. I don't see him changing much with fame, he reminds me of Dravid in many ways. Let's hope he remains injury free.

  • POSTED BY santhu_lm on | July 10, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Superb article at the right time. Best thing is on the same day Bhuvaneshwar kumar has taken india to Final of the triangular series by taking 4 wickets.

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | July 9, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Let's see what BK can do today?

  • POSTED BY Pavinasen on | July 9, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Good analysis ,so that is why Bhuvaneshwar Kumar takes early wickets.He is going to be a big time player for india.He woould have been sorely missed in the India vs SL game.This is his chance in the coming game to prove how much he has been missed.

  • POSTED BY TRAM on | July 9, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    There are many bowlers such as Sreesanth, PK, IPathan, etc, swinging the ball both ways and bowling around 130. Sure there are. But Bhuvi has the 2 main ingredients: 1. Intelligence to set the batsman up (clear plan for each batsman). 2. Ability to pitch the ball on the exact spot (execution). First one comes by experience & exposure. Second one comes ONLY by sheer hard work - which is lacking in other bowlers and Bhuvi has it. Keep it up BK !

  • POSTED BY Prateek_PJ on | July 8, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    One more great thing about this strike bowler is that he can bat also. Can contribute with bat also when in need.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    all those things reminds of fanie de villiers

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 7, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    Well u can't compare him with like of wasim the only medium fast bowlers I can remember are pollock McGrath he is not even close to him give him s flat wicket he will struggle but on same time he can be really handful on seaming pitches its too early to say whether he is gonna be legend or just a mediocre bowler i just want to see him on flat test match wicket with the old ball if he's successful there than no one can stop him bcz when ball isn't doing anything than your pace comes in handy so wait for couple of years then these kind if column should be written bcz u don't want them to give them too much media hype otherwise he can be another irfan Pathan

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 7, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Even though this is the early stage of Bhuveneshwar's career- he is a prodigy in a making. He is one of the few Indian bowlers who I actually enjoy watching. He has the talent- a lot of talent, but he has to be down to earth and not lose his cool. Bhuvi, Kohli, and Jaddu are my favorite players of this current ODI team because they keep it simple. Brilliantly written article- and all the best to the Indian Team :)

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is a tremendous prospect no doubt & I'm glad to see him perform so well for our Indian team. But then, with just 6 Test wkts & 19 ODI wkts, has the article not come a tad too early? A little more wait, perhaps!

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    asjad khan i agree sami's talent for bowling with an express pace had been wasted :/ no coach could make him consistent . express bowlers don't grow on trees these days :/

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    im a pakistani and i am telling u that kumar is the best indian bowler after i saw him bowl in his debut against pakistan in a t20 match

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    Lets just say Bhuvi Kumar lokos very promising based on the performance so far. But after Kapil, thenSrinath and Venk.Prasad none have been able to put in a significant and sustained level of performance. Irfan,Praveen, Aaron,Balaji all had the talent and skills but inury,lack of consistency and drop in performance levels has been the bane of Indian cricket.Ishant who has played nearly 50 tests by the age of 25 though one can't recall a match-winning performance in a Test on his own even in helpful conditions in Australia,England and South Africa .Why he remains an automatic choice is anybody's guess. Nevertheless besides his obvious talent and skill Bhuvi Kumar seems to have a level head and the right balance of attitude and temperament for the big league.He needs to nurtured and handled very carefully for the long haul.

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Good article , clearly mentioning the strengths against the few limitations of Bhuvi..Although the limitations might be outward, in terms of an effective bowler he stands way out.

    Most stand out point-Ability to pick wickets at the top( Topples the opposition plans on good opening score). Sometimes he just takes 1 or 2 wicket for entire match and then completes rest of the overs with decent economy, but the the impact would have been already done.

    India always lagged good fast/medium bowlers who can pick wickets at the start of the inings, he is an answer for that..Most strikingly he makes the bowling segment more spicy and makes us glued to the tv....

  • POSTED BY vsssarma on | July 7, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Differential mathematical analysis of Indian ODI bowlers indicates the following level of performances:

    Rahul Sharma 72.4 (marks out of 100); B Kumar 67.5; R Ashwin 67.3; IK Pathan 61.4; Jadeja 61.1; Zaheer Khan 56.9; P Kumar 54; RP Singh 53.7; I Sharma 47.8; Vinay Kumar 47.2; YK Pathan 46.1; AB Dinda 42.5; UT Yadav 40.8; Md.Shami 39.8; MM Patel 39.6; VR Aaron 35.8; A Mithun 33.6; MK Tiwary 23.2; V Sehwag 15.3; SK Raina 15; RG Sharma 7.3; PP Ojha 7.1; V Kohli 6.5; Yuvraj Singh 6.1; SR Tendulkar 1.3; MS Dhoni 0.6.

    Bhuvaneshawar Kumar is certainly focused. But I can't understand why Irfan Khan Pathan is being omitted ? Should we not give more chances to Rahul Sharma ?

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    we forget we already lost Indian glen mecgrath - avishkar salvi indian wasim akaram- ashish nehra :-) another kapil dev- praveen kumar.. we indians made statements very early b. kumar has just started his career, let him play some matches than made any view. i afraid indian media will not let him keep his head on shoulders.

  • POSTED BY amitsawant on | July 7, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Finally a notice to a young fast bowler bowling his heart out and winning games. Well it is worth reminding that Bowlers win matches be it any format. We have finally have found a swing bowler post Agarkar who can take wickets upfront.But should be kept under the guidance to not follow the suit of Agarkar, Irfan and RP etc who promised a lot.

    Only thing is he needs to get strong and add pace because as he would play more cricket he is bound to drop pace with age and work load and then he might struggle and eventually would be fighting for his place. He has come up a "Lottery" to our selector... Wise decision to rest him for Zimbabwe tour. Well he still has to do a lot before we call him India's strike bowler untill them let him enjoy his early success.

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    India over the last 8-9 years have produced one year or one season bowlers. Irfan Phatan,RP Singh,Sreesanth,Ishant are examples of bowlers who had good in them but just after one season they couldnt up their game.Its now the job of the bowler himself and support staff that he does not being an Irfan again.I would always use the example of Mohammad Sami as a test case of bowler with massive amount of talent gone to waste.

  • POSTED BY CricketFanIndUS on | July 6, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    B Kumar has won so many matches for India since he came to the team last year, it is hard to imagine how those wins would be possible without him. It is surprising that he has not received more MoM awards. Of course, anytime we have a seam bowler from India blossom, we need to celebrate. This is rare for us, due to may be the pitches, the climate, a size-able portion of the population being vegetarian, the non-beef diets in general, we have not produced enough great swing/pace bowlers like we have batsmen. Kumar is my favorite bowler and I look forward to watching his spells. Hope the administrators will prepare more pace friendly pitches. The more lively the pitches are, the more chances for our team to do well. Teams with stronger bowling units (like SA for example) can lose their technical advantage if the game is played on a pitch that assists pace and swing bowling (as our bowlers will do well on those pitches). England outdid our spinners in performance in India last year.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Well his real test would be when of flat wickets batsmen go after him.. India has an OD series against Aussies and Aussies like to go Indian pacers up front.. It would be interesting to see how he reacts when someone like Warner or Watson gets stuck into him on a belter.. If he passes that test even with moderate results he is going to stay in the team... You can judge the qualites of a player truely when he is being hammered.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | July 6, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    @Cricket_is_Unpopular: Any bowler can be found out. The list is huge.. do you want me to list some of them ? Malinga, Sunil Narine, Ajantha Mendis, Jade Dernbach, Mitchell Johnson, and the names go on. Every bowler will be found out the more he plays international cricket. So your argument lacks logic. It is is then up to that individual bowler to come out of tricky situations and show that he's the boss no matter how good the opposition play him. A handful of bowlers have done that in the history of cricket which is why they are legends. Why is it that whenever an Indian bowler is given credit for his performance, we always have some people speak rubbish without any facts or figures to back up ? India have some very good upcoming bowlers in the ranks. All of them don't need to bowl 150 mph and be erratic at the same time. Bhuvi has done well in most of the games and is a genuine talent for India.

  • POSTED BY keshabn on | July 6, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    Similar articles were written for Munaf Patel.. once the fastest Indian, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh, S Sreesanth 'the Cheat"etc. etc.

  • POSTED BY recycle-bin-is-empty on | July 6, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    @Sushant Rawat The way I see it, Bhuvi is already the strike bowler of the this current Indian team. Can you name me who do you think is better than him at this moment ??

    @Jose Puliampatta you just need to compare the stats of BK and PK to know how they are different from each other.

  • POSTED BY Captainman on | July 6, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    Overrated bowler. He's short and skinny. He basically reminds me of Nuwan.K. B.Kumar will eventually be found out.

  • POSTED BY WC2011Champs on | July 6, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    Only like to see an improvement - add 5-7 mph of speed. Happy with him and Dhoni the way BK is asked to bowl, especially in tests by not overburdening him, by not overexposing him. Look at the one time unlucky Ishant who bowled his heart out and not get rewards, he is managing to get wickets because of the pressure being created upfront/from the other side.

  • POSTED BY WC2011Champs on | July 6, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    Here are a few achievements and accolades in his nascent year: 1) Has anybody missed Zaheer who was India's main strike bowler for so many years? Bhuvi made an absolutely sensational debut, kept it up, and established himself as the main strike bowler in no time. 2) He has proved himself in all 3 formats and in different conditions. Would love to see him bowl in England in a test match and better Anderson. He is that capable. 3) His scalps are mostly the top order batsmen and the way he gets them - by reading them and by setting them up. Most valuable trait of a bowler. Mcgrath had it. 4) The manner of his scalps - stun bowled Kevin Peterson, bowled Michael Clarke (came to India as the best test batsman with back to back double hundreds), bowled Umar Akmal, bowled Hafeez, bowled Younis. The English who are top-class and supposedly the best batsmen of swing bowling paid high respect to BK in Indian conditions. Incredible, absolutely sensational bowler with just a hint of movement.

  • POSTED BY IndCricFan2013 on | July 6, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    BK and Pujara are like Dravid. People can not dislike them. They are simple and do the job to their best. They are not super starts like others, fans do not start running behind them, but as the time go, everyone starts to like them more and more, by looking at their commitment, their value to their side, their normal-ism, and the results they produce.

  • POSTED BY samincolumbia on | July 6, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    Imagine PK and BK bowling in tandem. They can easily stifle the run flow and force the best of the batsmen to make errors and throw their wickets. All the pressure built by BK is released by the bumbling Ishant and his mentee, Yadav.

  • POSTED BY sixnout on | July 6, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    While I agree that Bhuvi is doing a lot of right things at the moment, I am pessimistic about our bowlers. Agarkar fastest to 50 wickets, Irfan pathan between 2003 to 2007, or Ishanth in 2008. We all expected them to something good to the anaemic Indian pace bowling. Guess I will wait for a while before we build any expectations with on Bhuvi. Let him enjoy his time before we build any extra pressure on him

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    Wonderful Article depicting the rise of an indian seam bowler; who promises to take Indian bowling to greater heights. Hope he is able to withstand the pressure of bowling under helpful conditions in SA, NZ, AUS, ENG. It is great to see an indian fast bowler regularly getting early wickets with catches taken in slip. Bhuvi is quite lethal with the away going delivery to left hand batsmen & this augers well for replacing Zaheer Khan who is one the best to bowl to LHB. Bhuvi's action & swing bowling resembles to Richard Hadlee. Keep the indian flag flying.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    Praveen Kumar does the same things! Can someone explain how these two Kumars are different; if at ll they are different type of bowlers! ( Yes, temperamentally they are different; but in terms of bowling techniques and tactics? Can someone throw some light on it?)

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    BK is good but still i do not see him leading indian attack in near future you cannot fathom your strike bowler performance when he bowled good at bowler friendly pitches and his under performance with old ball is a big let down....to think he is better than Zaheer is funny..

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Very insightful of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar & the art of perfect swing bowling! Bhuvi is indeed the best bowler at the moment & once can really adore him for him taking the Lead bowler's slot so early in his career.

    A couple of other bowlers with nip & control over swing would make the cake go tastier for India! Praveen Kumar is still to come back, Umesh Yadav is getting better with experience, Ishant, Shami are a bit of a worry otherwise India's pace bowling is better of recent times. May be Irfan (if he comes back with full fitness) be a choice for utility cricketer position 6,7,8 and Stuart Binny for one of the three slots.

    Time to bring back Varun Aaron also as he with an extra yard of pace can be a worthy content for mid over bowling. Concerns are over spin department as you see not many choices beyond Ashwin. Jadeja is more of a line, length & occasional spin bowler.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    as usual nice article by akash chopra , and very good observation on bhuvi..... he has been a revelation.... none of the rookie bowler have been in such a leading position in indian bowling attack, its as if indian entire bowling is depended on his early spells... hope he troubles some batsmen in SA tour.....

  • POSTED BY recycle-bin-is-empty on | July 6, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    I will be very honest, its after a very very long time that I have seen an Indian bowler in Bhuvi that brings a lot of excitement and anticipation. For the past 7-8 years or so, the fast bowling unit of India never brought any kind of excitement in me quite like batting does. You know, as an Indian fan, how we anticipate every match how our batsmen are going to perform, you always make a point to watch the Dhawan or Kohli or in the past Sehwag or Tendulkar or Dravid. That same urge, when it comes to Indian fast bowling, I personally last felt about some 10 years ago when I always made a point to try my best watch the young Zaheer khan, he was such a huge prospect back then eatrly in his career, and though he will still go down as one of the very best Indian fast bowlers lets hope Bhuvi can go even further and make a name for himself among the legends. To many, it may sound far fetched but I have loads of expectations and confidence in Bhuvi.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    India's ODI/T20 seam bowling attack should have BK, PK, and Mohit Sharma. We need more control.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    Earlier, Dhoni used his full quota in a single spell, under utilising his death bowling skills. But in recent IPL, he impressed with his death bowling too by bowling yorkers wide of the off stump.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    It is very happy to see a indian bowler create some threat among foreigners.If Yadav and shami ahmed pickup and provide good company to kumar then 2015 is for indians again.

  • POSTED BY ChiragPathak on | July 6, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    Really great article. Knowledge worthy. We are really lucky to have Akash Chopra & Bhuvi both.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    excellent article akash, yes bhuvi is the one who knows his limitations a bowler and thus bowl perfectly in his domain, new ball is his main weapon...really look forward to seeing the lad bowling in southafrican conditions .

  • POSTED BY BloodBeat on | July 6, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    He troubled Pakistan so much in the Home series earlier this year

  • POSTED BY YogifromNY on | July 6, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    Akash has faced many quality bowlers himself in his long career as an opener. And to boot, he is a highly intelligent cricketer and human being. I love his articles for the insight they provide into how cricketers think and what they are going through. This article on Bhuvi is another fine example of that. I hope Bhuvi is managed properly by the team management so that he has a long, distinguished career. Excellent bowler and seems to have a very good temperament - that which separates the men from the boys. God bless.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Amongst the Indian bowlers his use of the front arm is the best,which makes his arm action very deceptive

  • POSTED BY JustAnotherCricketFan on | July 6, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    @ Mohamed Rafee Dude its like your saying Bhuvi is great but he is fortunate to not have played against Chris Gayle who destroys every bowler.

    or like saying Virat Kohli is great but he is fortunate not to have played against Dale steyn.

    you dont know, maybe jayasurya wouldnt have gotten on to make big scores and wouldve been out early on in innings if he had faced Bhuvi, Dale steyn, jimmy anderson.

    dude if someone is good, dont compare them with others.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    Brilliant analysis on Bhuvi! Only wondering why drop a performing bowler to give chance to Shami Ahmed? Early wickets is what you want in any form of cricket and Bhuvneshwar Kumar is your man for the task. Hope in future selectors/captain will think twice before dropping Bhuvi !!

  • POSTED BY Sir_Ivor on | July 6, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    contd...Unfortunately the glamour of the contemporary 145 kmph bowler is what makes for exciting spectator value, The smooth run up with muscles rippling under a silk shirt buttons open makes for good watching. But the reality is that swing and seam bowlers have historically been great achievers. When we talk of fast bowling the image that comes to mind are of Roy Gilchrist, Hall, Tyson Shoaib, Thomson and Trueman.The lore that preceded Roy Gilchrist wherever he went was that he was jailed for stabbing an opposing batsman who had taunted him. Now that is what some people think is the essence of fast bowling as opposed to trundling. Apart from swing and seam bowling, I have always believed that the leg cutter bowled at fast medium is probably as lethal as it gets. Fazal Mahmood of Pakistan was a great exponent of this.Venkatesh Prasad and Manoj Prabhakar were also very good at this.I wish Irfan Pathan would come back and add cut to his arsenal. He could be lethal if he is accurate.

  • POSTED BY Sir_Ivor on | July 6, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    A wonderful piece by Akash on the merits of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar's bowling. He has not talked much about the pace at which Bhuvi bowls though. He bowls mostly in the region of 128 to 135 kmph actually as we have seen on TV.He is generally in the region of 130 or around 81 mph. In my opinion that pace is good enough to test the best of batsmen.In the history of cricket, some of the greatest fast bowlers were what we call medium pace trundlers.Cricket writers sometimes refer to this stuff as Military medium.I am not sure how this word was coined though.The point is that the legends of English cricket, Sid Barnes,George Lohman, and Alec Bedser were all military medium.Shaun Pollock after his initiial years as a tearaway settled into the same.Mohammed Asif who I rate as one of the greatest wrist user in bowling was mostly in the same range.Now we have Philander who has had remarkable success in his short career. The essence to this type of bowling is the length to bowl and pin point accuracy

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Bhuvi is really fortunate not to have played during Jayasury's era.......

  • POSTED BY Abitha on | July 6, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Well done Bhuvi. He swings the ball both the ways creating an uncertainty in the minds of the batsman to be or not to be for playing the shots if it is pitched close to the stumps. I saw MSD speaking to him from the ropes watching the match on T.V. I feel his presence there would have given more TONIC to Bhuvi. Keep it going. It is interesting to note that he has more left handed batsmen wickets in his kitty. Kashinath

  • POSTED BY Vinoda11 on | July 6, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    he has a good temperament in his bowling

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Akash Chopra has a tremendous insight into cricket. His feel for how batsmen react to seam bowlers is quite educative and so is his experience as an erstwhile opener.

  • POSTED BY srhome on | July 6, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    @jadejafan, the difference between PK & BK: add 10 kmph speed to PK, reduce arrogance and add humble. you get BK from PK

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    this suggests that india lost to sri lanka because they left bhuvi.......he could have struck early in that innings and could have prevented tharanga from scoring a century

  • POSTED BY harshguy on | July 6, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    The only real difference between Bhuvi and Praveen is that Bhuvi has none of the attitude that Praveen had, and has much greater control over the ball.

  • POSTED BY Jadejafan on | July 6, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    Seriously! what the difference between B.Kumar and P.Kumar? both bowl kind of the same.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    His performances remind me of another slight player who had a similar sort of start to his career - Ajit Agarkar. Hope Bhuvi performs better than how he has been doing so far (6 wickets in 4 tests) and unlike Agarkar in tests.

  • POSTED BY Capricorn60 on | July 6, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    If ONLY Zaheer Khan or even Irfan Pathan regains form & fitness, a left-arm experienced pace bowler would greatly benfit the team - especially in time for the SA tour. One can only hope this happens.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    Very thoughtful insights Aakash, as always! 5 yrs plus of domestic cricket on generally seamer non-friendly wickets has helped him develop a stamina to bowl long spells and maintain line, length consistency.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | July 6, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    @vaidyar - agree with you Sreesanth could have been a feared bowler in world cricket. He should have got earlier support from BCCI before plunging into obscurity.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | July 6, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    EXCELLENT ARTICLE - and yes we fans were all disappointed when Bhuvi did not play in the game with SL. The other bowlers shoukl learn some of the tricks Bhuvi is using. Reminds me of Zaheer (thinking bowler) India could do with a left arm pacer.

  • POSTED BY cric_fan_sam on | July 6, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    The way he has risen within one year of bursting onto the scene reminds me of Irfan Pathan, hope he doesn't lose the art of swing

  • POSTED BY sahbas_s on | July 6, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    Bhuvi is decent lad in International and may the best one India has now..But we should not hype him so much so to write an article on him. He certainly doesn't look like Pollock or Mcgrath who can single handedly win matches with their 4/ or 5/. He still is a breath of a fresh air for our team which doesnt have any strike bowlers but complement well with 3 to 4 good bowlers....He needs to be groomed well and looking at his age and ability, if we works hard he can become one of the best indian bowlers but its still too far ahead from here

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 6, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    he is great bowler having ability to swing new ball forcing batsman to play ball.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    It is very heartening to see an indian fast bowler taking wickets in the first few overs regularly. Wonderful to see Bhuvaneshwar keep it simple and straight and not experimenting too much. In times where everyone is keen on experiment it is very important to keep things simple. Hope it does not change. Wish him all the best.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 6, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    Another hype. Reason for indian bowlers disappearance because of lack of meat protein food and gym. Toning won't cut it. Fast bowlers lose liquid between joints in knees and ankles. Once its gone they gets injured. Only best knows how to be conservative and still be effective plus good gym culture of weight lifting to repair muscles

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    great article Aakash Chopra. intrigued by your writing , I found your tweets during #CT13 to be more revealing than the boring commentary that was around on the TV to be honest. one more point about buvi he is not tall so have more chances of getting an LBW as david warner and cowan found out when the ball was not even doing much. there are obviously a number of limitations to his bowling as well and he has been cleverly protected by dhoni and co from a real go at death so far which is good because he could easily loose confidence in couple of games at this stage of his career

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    "Bhuvneshwar neither has the pace of Umesh Yadav nor does he have the bounce of Ishant Sharma"! Yeah, right! Thats what has made ishant Sharma the meancing pace bowler he is!

  • POSTED BY Leggie on | July 6, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    I only hope Bhuvanesh Kumar stays the way he is..., and not try to become too strong / muscular etc. in recent times, too many Indian fast bowlers have tended to train on become muscular and in the process have lost their flexibility,

  • POSTED BY vaidyar on | July 6, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    All these points remind me of another bowler who won India its first test in SA. Lovely wrist position and that extra bit of pace close to 140Ks. What a shame he turned out the way he did! Tells you what a sheer waste of talent that was.

  • POSTED BY Capricorn60 on | July 6, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    What warms my heart as an Indian fan is Bhuvi is only 23 & his best is yet to come! He shows too that one doesn't need to have express speed to be a really good pace bowler. He also compliments Ishant & Yadav well in bringing a nice variety to India's pace bowling attack. However the team desperately needs a good 4th pace bowler to add to this pack in touring SA - don't think Shami Ahmed, Unadkat, Vinay Kumar etc are good enough to fill this slot.

  • POSTED BY sachin_vvsfan on | July 6, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    He has been our best fast bowler for some time. This guy needs to be managed properly and hope he wont become one time wonder like sreesanth or ishant. Sad that we don't have too many quality fast bowlers. SL clearly reaped the benefits in his absence. This is not to say that they did not deserve to win that game. (With the kind of efforts we had put we did not deserve to win). But we should groom more players like Shami and other fast bowlers and make them ready by 2015. Even if it meant loosing the num 1 ranking for a while I am okay with the idea of giving more chances (one full tournament) to these kind of players.

  • POSTED BY RajeshNaik on | July 6, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Bhuvaneshwar played domestic cricket for 5+ years and unlike many fast bowlers has mastered the basics very well and does not waver from these basics even under adverse circumstances. Swig is his ultimate weapon. He has mastered it very well. Very good find for India as Zaheer is nearing the end of his career. He is still very young and I only hope that he takes this early success in his career humbly and does not go R.P.Singh way.

  • POSTED BY bbnn on | July 6, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Still he was not selected for SL match Why ? He is very good against left handed batsmen SL have 4 left handers

  • POSTED BY AlbertPintoGussaHua on | July 6, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    An opening batsman writing an article complimenting a strike bowler... now that's a breath of fresh air. Kudos to both Aakash and ESPNcricinfo.

  • POSTED BY jango_moh on | July 6, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    very insightful article... i would suggest akash to write a book on cricketing technique, or rather batting technique, as you are able to articulate it very well!!!!

  • POSTED BY nikhilshahb on | July 6, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Excellent explanation. The problem is we have about a dozen bowlers who do the same thing, the only difference is Bhuvneshwar is a just bit pacy compared so say: Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, RIP Singh and a whole host of them. Ishant at 6'4" is the only bowler with a bounce and Aaron and Yadav are consistent at 145 mph. Since they are unique and Bhuvneshwar is a bit quicker the 3 of them combined forms a unique combination.

    What Yadav's bowls is a flat strike rate similar to Waqar Younis and as a result has a high eco rate of about 5.3 but SR of about 45.

  • POSTED BY samdabam on | July 6, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Great insight. However I disagree with the notion that Bhuvi appears innocuous when he comes on to bowl. Since he started bamboozling Pakistani batsmen in Dec-Jan, he has become the most exciting bowler to watch in Indian lineup. The way he sets up an over, getting in batsman's mind, is a sheer joy to watch.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Bhuvanesh Kumar Great Find for INDIA:)

  • POSTED BY ODI_BestFormOfCricket on | July 6, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    B kumar is a good bowler only in early part of the innings when the pitch has something to offer, below average bowler in later part of the innings. He is still in the early stage of his carrier and he needs to learn how to bowl economically in death overs. He will lose a place like praveen kumar if he not learns anything and he must have to increase his bowling speed. I believe he will.

  • POSTED BY ShivramIyer on | July 6, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    Good job Aakash... you are easily one of the best contemporary cricket writers with zero malice and all knowledge!

  • POSTED BY ShivramIyer on | July 6, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    Good job Aakash... you are easily one of the best contemporary cricket writers with zero malice and all knowledge!

  • POSTED BY ODI_BestFormOfCricket on | July 6, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    B kumar is a good bowler only in early part of the innings when the pitch has something to offer, below average bowler in later part of the innings. He is still in the early stage of his carrier and he needs to learn how to bowl economically in death overs. He will lose a place like praveen kumar if he not learns anything and he must have to increase his bowling speed. I believe he will.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Bhuvanesh Kumar Great Find for INDIA:)

  • POSTED BY samdabam on | July 6, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Great insight. However I disagree with the notion that Bhuvi appears innocuous when he comes on to bowl. Since he started bamboozling Pakistani batsmen in Dec-Jan, he has become the most exciting bowler to watch in Indian lineup. The way he sets up an over, getting in batsman's mind, is a sheer joy to watch.

  • POSTED BY nikhilshahb on | July 6, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Excellent explanation. The problem is we have about a dozen bowlers who do the same thing, the only difference is Bhuvneshwar is a just bit pacy compared so say: Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, RIP Singh and a whole host of them. Ishant at 6'4" is the only bowler with a bounce and Aaron and Yadav are consistent at 145 mph. Since they are unique and Bhuvneshwar is a bit quicker the 3 of them combined forms a unique combination.

    What Yadav's bowls is a flat strike rate similar to Waqar Younis and as a result has a high eco rate of about 5.3 but SR of about 45.

  • POSTED BY jango_moh on | July 6, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    very insightful article... i would suggest akash to write a book on cricketing technique, or rather batting technique, as you are able to articulate it very well!!!!

  • POSTED BY AlbertPintoGussaHua on | July 6, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    An opening batsman writing an article complimenting a strike bowler... now that's a breath of fresh air. Kudos to both Aakash and ESPNcricinfo.

  • POSTED BY bbnn on | July 6, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Still he was not selected for SL match Why ? He is very good against left handed batsmen SL have 4 left handers

  • POSTED BY RajeshNaik on | July 6, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Bhuvaneshwar played domestic cricket for 5+ years and unlike many fast bowlers has mastered the basics very well and does not waver from these basics even under adverse circumstances. Swig is his ultimate weapon. He has mastered it very well. Very good find for India as Zaheer is nearing the end of his career. He is still very young and I only hope that he takes this early success in his career humbly and does not go R.P.Singh way.

  • POSTED BY sachin_vvsfan on | July 6, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    He has been our best fast bowler for some time. This guy needs to be managed properly and hope he wont become one time wonder like sreesanth or ishant. Sad that we don't have too many quality fast bowlers. SL clearly reaped the benefits in his absence. This is not to say that they did not deserve to win that game. (With the kind of efforts we had put we did not deserve to win). But we should groom more players like Shami and other fast bowlers and make them ready by 2015. Even if it meant loosing the num 1 ranking for a while I am okay with the idea of giving more chances (one full tournament) to these kind of players.