Vinay Kumar has opened up about his career after recently announcing his retirement from all forms of cricket. The former pacer stated that he could have played more Tests for India if things had gone his way.
The Karnataka ace played 139 first-class games, picking up 504 wickets in a domestic career lasting 16 years. Vinay Kumar is also the highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Ranji trophy among fast bowlers, taking 442 scalps.
However, for all his success on the domestic circuit, the 37-year-old did not get many opportunities at the international level. He ended up playing only a solitary Test, 31 ODIs and nine T20Is for India.
Speaking to IANS, Vinay Kumar said that although he has no qualms about how his career shaped up, he would have liked to play more international matches, especially Tests.
“I am really happy with the way my career shaped up. Maybe I could have played more international matches, definitely with the red ball. I didn’t get many chances to play for India in Test cricket but I did play long for Karnataka. I don’t have any regrets," Vinay Kumar said.
The 37-year-old, who has 49 international wickets to his name, last represented India in an ODI against Australia in Bengaluru in November 2013.
"People need to understand that I played as a fourth seamer in my first Test" - Vinay Kumar
Vinay played his only Test during India's tour of Australia in 2012. Playing the third Test in Perth, he was part of a four-pronged pace attack which included Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, and Umesh Yadav.
Unfortunately, Vinay Kumar lacked pace and incisiveness that day, returning with expensive figures of 1/73 from 13 overs as India went on to lose the Test by an innings and 37 runs.
Speaking of that fateful match, Vinay Kumar felt playing as the fourth seamer limited his role.
“I never thought my pace was less. People need to understand that I played as a fourth seamer in my first Test. I was kind of limited by my role that I was playing as the fourth bowler. And my role was to come and keep it tight. Ishant, Umesh and Zaheer Khan were there. I kind of thought I am the fourth bowler and need to keep it this way. There are so many legends of the game who might have gone wrong in their first match,” Vinay Kumar added.
Vinay Kumar went on to say that he always gave his best and is grateful for all the opportunities he has received throughout his career.
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"At the end of the day, that is life. Whatever opportunity I got — one-dayers, Ranji Trophy, IPL — I was happy that I gave my best," Vinay Kumar said.