Shikhar Dhawan was the top-scorer in India’s successful chase against New Zealand in the second One-Day International in Pune. However, he was all praise for his teammate Bhuvneshwar Kumar who became the man-of-the-match for his outstanding spell of 3 wickets in 10 overs for 45 runs.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar bowls yorkers at will and often outside the wicket to make batsmen swing wildly. This has been a very effective instrument in his arsenal. Which is why apart from Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is the go-to bowler in the death overs.
But that wasn’t always the case.
Bhuvaneshwar was always hailed as a prodigious bowler, someone who was not the fastest but always had a trick up his sleeve. Dhoni would used Bhuvaneshwar in the first ten overs and would have minimal role to play in the final overs.
But in the past few months, Bhuvneshwar has trained harder than ever and returned fitter, faster than before.
In the second ODI against New Zealand it took him only ten balls to pick his first wicket when he forced Martin Guptill to play an outside edge that went behind the wicket.
He also set up Colin Munro by bowling a few easy ones and then stunned him with a knuckle ball, another one of his devices to pick wickets.
Using both the old and new ball he bowled a mix of knuckleballs and yorkers to keep the runs minimal and the wickets falling in India's favour.
Bhuvneshwar admits that he is calm yet confident. And that is probably something that baffles several batsmen across the world. You will never see him break a sweat, nor does he react when he picks a wicket. What has changed though is the way he's worked in the last two years to become stronger. The ball didn't swing for him on Wednesday but with other building blocks of his skills, he swung the match in India's favour to give himself and his side a fresh lease of life in the series.