Hope to play alongside Tendulkar in Tests: Bhuvaneshwar

Ahmedabad, Dec 27 (IANS) Young Indian pacer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who made an impressive Twenty20 international debut against Pakistan in Bangalore, hopes to play alongside Sachin Tendulkar in Tests.

Bhuvaneshwar, 22, said he was shocked to hear about Tendulkar's retirement from ODIs.

"Yes, that's a big disappointment. When I saw his retirement news on the TV, I thought that I've lost the chance to play alongside him. But then I thought that I still have a chance to play with him in Tests. I hope that happens," Bhuvaneshwar said.

Bhuvaneshwar said swing bowling is his main strength like his mentor and state-mate Praveen Kumar.

"Praveen Kumar and I are from the same city. I have been watching him since a long time and I think we're very similar bowlers. I look up to him as my mentor. Like him, my main weapon is swing bowling and I rely a lot on it especially in helpful conditions like this," Bhuvaneshwar was quoted as saying the official website of the board.

Bhuvaneshwar, who picked up three for nine against Pakistan, said he was nervous before the match but once the match started the nerves cooled down.

"I was told beforehand that I had a good chance. After seeing the wicket, the team management decided that I will play. I was happy but nervous too. They were normal debut nerves and nothing to do with the fact that it was against Pakistan. Once I entered the field, I was pretty normal."

Bhuvaneshwar said it would have been a dream debut for him had India won the match.

"It would have been a dream debut if we had won. It was a good debut - scoring six crucial runs at the death, picking up three wickets for nine runs and taking a catch. It would have been perfect had we won in the end," he said.

The all-rounder said he was hopeful of selection after an impressive performances in the domestic circuit.

"I was hopeful. I scored a first-class century and did well in Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy. I was hoping to get in as an all-rounder," he said.

Bhuvaneshwar said Indian Premier League (IPL) stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore helped him learn the tricks of Twenty20.

"You can say that the time spent with RCB did help me in terms of knowing what kind of Twenty20 wicket this is. Overall, the IPL experience was useful because of what I learnt from the international players about bowling in T20s," he said.

Bhuvaneshwar also thanked Mahendra Singh Dhoni for boosting his confidence.

"I have always watched him on TV and thought what a good captain he is. Before this game he told me that although I am playing for India and it's a big thing, at the end of the day it's just another match. You have played a lot of cricket matches and this is one of them. He supported me right through my spell as well," he said.

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