Still all of 22 years of age, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has already established himself as the fulcrum around which the Indian pace attack revolves.
Blessed with the ability to swing the ball prodigiously, Bhuvneshwar has given batsmen all over the world plenty of headaches, in all three formats of the game.
In an exclusive interview with this Sportskeeda correspondent, Bhuvneshwar spoke about the secret of his success and his preparation methods:
You have established yourself as India’s premier swing bowler. Who do you credit for your success?
I am a very hard-working person and always try to perform to the best of my abilities. I never take things lightly, and I think that has always helped me give my best.
After the hectic season, how has the international break been for you?
It’s been refreshing and fantastic till now. Since I am a young entrant, not many have been able to figure out my style of bowling, which has worked in my favour. I am constantly working on my skills and on myself, and I am raring to take as many wickets as I can. It was good to win in the Champions Trophy, and I hope to keep up with the momentum.
What do you think is more important for a fast bowler: pace or control?
I think both are equally important for any fast bowler. I like to focus more on keeping the ball in control as only that allows me to generate the pace I desire.
What are your immediate targets against Australia?
Needless to say, Australia is a pretty tough and competitive team to play against. The players are well aware of the Indian pitches and therefore we will try to grab the lead from the start so as not to give them any chance.
They are currently No. 2 in the world and have some terrific players like Watson and Finch to boast of. Even though Michael Clarke will be missing, I don’t think that’s going to make much difference to their side. My aim will be to take as many wickets as possible.
You are often compared to Praveen Kumar. What do you think of those comparisons?
Well, we are from the same town and play for the same state team. I have grown up watching him play and always wanted to swing the ball the way he does. Comparisons are therefore bound to take place, and I am fine with them.
Did you model your bowling action on any international pace bowler?
No. I have always had a natural swing. My coach always said to keep it the way it is and never distort it.
You are quite a handy batsman down the order. Do you think it is imperative for a modern cricketer to be good in all three aspects of the game i.e., batting, bowling and fielding?
The competition in cricket has become very intense, and one needs to be good in all the areas of the game to survive and stay in the reckoning. Fitness is the quintessential aspect of the game. I work hard on my batting and fielding along with my bowling.
You were the only one who was spared when Chris Gayle went berserk in Bangalore, scoring 175. What was your strategy while bowling to Gayle in that kind of mood?
Well, it wasn’t an easy day. I tried to go with my strength, that is, to swing the ball well, and thankfully it worked in my favour. It wasn’t the first time that I was bowling to him and therefore I knew the areas with which I could control him.
What is Joe Dawes’s approach like in the nets? How helpful has he been in your success?
He really does his job well. He always watches me during the nets and then points out my mistakes and helps me correct them. Sometimes we as players happen to skip some minor things but he makes sure that those are corrected and perfected.