Living a dream

Bhuvneshwar keen to continue good form

It has been five months since the cricket-loving people of India got introduced to a lanky swing bowler from Meerut called Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Since December, when he made his T20 and ODI debut against Pakistan, ‘ Bhuvi’ as he is known to his teammates, has grown in leaps and bounds, but still likes to remain grounded.

“Being a cricketer, it has been really good for me.

It is everyone’s dream to do well for India, and playing Test cricket was the ultimate dream, which also got fulfilled. A lot has changed for me as a cricketer, going from domestic to international cricket, but I’m still living the dream,” Bhuvneshwar told M AIL TODAY . The Pune Warriors bowler has benefited majorly from the guidance of their head coach Allan Donald over the last couple of seasons, but says coaching has a limited scope in the growth of a player.

“He shares his experience with me, and it helps a lot to talk to him in the nets. Now the team expects good things from me, and I also expect myself to do well for the team,” the 23-year-old bowler said.

“But no one can teach you how to bowl – they [ Donald or India bowling coach Joe Dawes] just share their experiences. They talk about the strengths and weaknesses of batsmen, and develop plans. But at the end of the day, they just give their opinions,” he said when asked to compare the two coaches.

Bhuvneshwar and Praveen Kumar both hail from the same coaching centre in Meerut, and are similar bowlers as well, and the youngster said he still idolises his senior.

“He’s my idol. I’ve been watching him since I was playing under-15s, and he was at the under- 19 level.

We talk about everything – from action to planning etc - and he helps me a lot. I know his public perception may be different, but the public can’t know us so well personally. Knowing him, I know he has a very clean heart and is very helpful,” he said.

Bhuvneshwar was the only Pune Warriors bowler to be spared when Chris Gayle was going hammer and tongs in their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier this week, conceding just eight in his first three overs.

Asked what could’ve been the reason for that, he said: “I didn’t do anything different, just stuck to my basics, which is to bowl within the stumps and try to swing the ball.

No one in the world can hit you if you get that right. He was probably a little defensive because the ball was swinging.” Asked if he had an eye on the Champions Trophy in England after the IPL, Bhuvneshwar said: “ I’m not really thinking about England and, if I do make the squad, whether it will suit me or not. There’s no pressure on me as such just because the ball swings there. I did well in the Tests [ against Australia] and the IPL so far has been personally satisfying, even though from the team perspective it hasn’t been good for us. I just want to win matches for my team.”

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