When in top form, Bhuvneshwar Kumar adds unfathomable worth to the Indian squad. His recent return to form in T20Is has given fans and team management reason for optimism for important upcoming events later this year.
Kumar is coming off a player-of-the-series performance against South Africa in the just finished series. Kumar is known as a high-quality power play bowler who can both take wickets and keep it tight in the first six overs. In the first T20I encounter against Ireland at the Malahide Cricket Club in Dublin, he continued his strong play, bowling three overs in a rain-shortened game for just 16 runs, maintaining an economy rate of under six, and also taking a wicket in the first over of the game.
It was an important and impressive wicket too, with Bhuvneshwar knocking over Irish captain Andrew Balbirnie’s off-stump with an in-swinger cutting in from a length, having set him up with an out-swinger the ball before. Having looked dangerous with away-swing in the balls before, with the ball darting around in overcast conditions, Bhuvneshwar showed his class and cleverness by allowing one to come back in just a touch, doing enough to beat Balbirnie all ends up.
Bhuvneshwar is currently bowling like the explosive opener that Indian fans have come to expect him to be, and after a few years marred by injury and a concerning slowdown in pace, he is returning to his best both at the top of the innings and at the end with his control. When the time comes for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, he and Jasprit Bumrah will likely form what is arguably the best T20 pace battery in the world.
Bhuvneshwar will likely lead the Indian attack again in the second T20I, taking place once again at the Malahide Cricket Club, on June 28.