Jasprit Bumrah’s absence is unquestionably a major loss, but senior India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar emphasised that it has never meant that the present bowling squad would stray from its particular strategies. While Bumrah was forced to withdraw from the T20 World Cup due to a back stress fracture, Bhuvneshwar had to deal with criticism of his death over performance during the Asia Cup and the subsequent bilateral series.
But overall, the Meerut player has been in great rhythm, and it was the pressure he applied to Pakistan with his first spell of sharp swing bowling that allowed young Arshdeep Singh to dismiss Mohammed Rizwan and Babar Azam. So did the bowling unit do anything extra to compensate for Bumrah’s absence? “The kind of bowler Bumrah is, certainly it’s a big loss for the team. It’s not as if we would have to do something extra that Bumrah isn’t around,” Bhuvneshwar told reporters in mixed zone after another tight show against the Netherlands.
“Even if Bumrah would have been around, we couldn’t have done those extra things. We are doing exactly what our strengths are.” When asked if the criticism about his Asia Cup death bowling had hurt him having done admirably well for India for a decade, Bhuvneshwar did give an impression that he wasn’t amused. “Itni saalon mein ek baar ho gayi cheezein kharab. So ho gayi. Baat khatm. (In all these years, I have had this one off tournament. It’s happened. It’s done and dusted). “Media and commentators can say a lot of things (about death bowling), but as a team we knew that we will have our share of ups and downs.
“T20 is a format where it could be tough for bowlers and even for batters if the track is difficult one. But since Asia Cup is a big event people do tend to assess you that much more.” Bhuvneshwar said he keeps away from social media during big events. “During World Cup, I keep myself completely off from social media and have no idea what all is written about. Because it’s the social media from which you come to know all these things.”
In the tournament opener against Pakistan, Bhuvneshwar literally tormented Rizwan with his swing and he said he never expected so much swing in Australia. “I never expected that my deliveries would swing so much. Whether me or Arshdeep who got two wickets, me and Arshdeep complimented each other. So you can say I was happy,” the senior bowler said.
When you mention Arshdeep, his face becomes animated. “He has been amazing since his debut. He was always asking about what kind of track will there be on offer and what kind of shots the batters will play on this track. He asks me and also Rohit and Virat. Considering his first T20 WC, he is doing really well.” Bhuvneshwar also confirmed that there are no assigned death bowlers. “There are no assigned death bowler as such. You can’t plan like that in cricket, where even before a tourney starts, you know who your death bowlers are. “A lot of things are instinctive and captain takes a call on how he assesses the situation at that very moment.”