Agency :
While Jasprit Bumrah continues to make headlines for his brilliant bowling at the death and Mohammed Shami is showered with praise for his wicket-taking prowess, there is a ..." /> Logo
06th-Jul-2019

Irrepressible Bhuvneshwar the perfect foil to Bumrah and Shami

By

Agency :
While Jasprit Bumrah continues to make headlines for his brilliant bowling at the death and Mohammed Shami is showered with praise for his wicket-taking prowess, there is a third Indian seamer - Bhuvneshwar Kumar - who quietly goes about his business delivering the goods for India but hardly gets noticed or the same attention as his other two team-mates.
While Bhuvneshwar has not been a prolific wicket-taker for India as the other two in the World Cup, it is his economy and ability to restrict the opposition batsmen which stand out.
Bhuvneshwar has picked 6 wickets from 4 matches in the 2019 World Cup at an economy of 4.83 - the second-best for India only after Bumrah (4.6) and the eighth-best overall amongst all fast bowlers in the tournament.
The average economy rate for all Indian bowlers sans Bhuvneshwar in the tournament has been 5.21 - this means that Bhuvneshwar has conceded 0.38 runs per six balls less than what the other Indian bowlers have in the competition.
Bhuvneshwar went for 44 runs in his 10 overs against South Africa picking two lower-order wickets - second-most restrictive after Bumrah (min. 5 overs), 3-50 against Australia - the most restrictive Indian bowler while picking the wickets of Steven Smith and Marcus Stoinis, had just conceded 8 runs in 2.4 overs against Pakistan before suffering a hamstring injury and held his nerve against Bangladesh at the death after being brilliantly restrictive in the first powerplay.
Bhuvneshwar went for just 18 runs in the five overs even as Bangladesh were chasing 314. He bowled as many as 18 dot balls - ie 60% of the deliveries he bowled in the first powerplay were not scored off. He was hit for just one boundary in this period.
He was brilliant in his final spell at the death too. Shabbir Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin had taken Shami for 11 in the 42nd over and with the required rate just above 9 - very much achievable in contemporary ODI cricket - the pressure was Bhuvneshwar to bowl a relatively quieter over. He varied his length - bowled full and bowled yorkers and mixed his pace slipping in the slower one and gave away just 5 runs of the over - this included two wides.
The pressure created by Bhuvneshwar meant that Sabbir took a wild swing at Bumrah off the first ball of the next over and was castled.
Bhuvneshwar has been exceptional in the first powerplay in the World Cup. He has bowled a total of 106 deliveries and conceded just 58 runs at an economy of just 3.28 - second-best amongst all pacers after Bumrah (2.96).