Unlike other Indian debutants, fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar did not take long to make heads turn. In his India debut itself, Bhuvneshwar became the hot topic for his banana swing. He picked up a wicket off his first ball in international cricket, cleaning up Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez who offered no shot to a vicious inswinger.
However, it was not the first time Bhuvneshwar became talk of the town. During the 2008-09 season, a 19-year-old Bhuvneshwar became the first player to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar out for a duck in Ranji Trophy. During the final between Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai, Bhuvneshwar had Tendulkar out for a 15-ball duck, caught by Shivakant Shukla. Even though Mumbai went on to win the match by 243 runs, Bhuvneshar went on to reveal how he got the wicket of the great Tendulkar.
"Generally, you think to claim wickets before the start of any game, but you don't plan to bag a certain number of wickets as it's not possible," Bhuvneshwar said during the chat show 'Double Trouble,' a YouTube programme hosted by Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues.
"But when it comes to Sachin's wicket, then I would say I was lucky because the position where Sachin got out was neither short leg nor mid-wicket, so the credit goes to Mohammad Kaif who was my captain at that time. He set the field, and I just bowled an inswinger, and eventually, it happened."
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was India's leading wicket-taker in the 2017 Champions Trophy, but a string of injuries, including a hamstring suffered during last year's World Cup and the groin injury against West Indies last year has pushed him down the pecking order. He was expected to return during the South Africa ODIs but his wait has been prolonged due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 30-year-old quick stressed on the importance of not rushing a comeback, and his strength of swinging the ball.
"Injuries are a part and parcel for the fast bowlers when you play in all three formats of the game. I have been bothered by a number of injuries over last one year and can tell you that it can be really frustrating. As you watch the matches on TV, it becomes difficult to miss out on the action but it's very important not to rush to a comeback," he said.
"Since I did not have a lot of pace, I always focused on line and length and the consistency also came naturally. Variation is the key in such situations (death overs). The yorkers used to be a standard weapon in the last overs before but the batsmen have found out tools like the lap shot to counter it."