Seven days into the England Test series Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads India’s batting (71.50) and bowling (14.22) averages. So far he has scored 157 runs and taken nine wickets which include two half-centuries and a five-for. His figures in the Lord’s Test so far are 4 for 46 and with four of England’s wickets remaining in the innings, Bhuvi is on the cusp of back-to-back five-wicket hauls.
Picking wickets at Lord’s, Bhuvi said, was his childhood dream. And he will be motivated to make his first appearance at the historic ground special by having his name on the honours board.
Bhuvi bowled sensationally well throughout the day, sending down 23 overs for only 46 runs. His figures don’t reflect the conditions and the nature of the wicket as much as they tell of his discipline and single-mindedness.
The very pitch that was hard to tell from the lush green outfield when England bowled on the first day, looked browner and balder on day-two. The bite was relatively low, the ball swung much less and the beaming sun came to the batsmen’s rescue. But Bhuvi made the most of whatever was available from the pitch with his unwavering execution of his game-plan and sticking the motto, “on supportive wicket you have to be more disciplined.”
“The wicket eased out a lot today and the ball didn’t swing like it did yesterday. It is much easier to bat on now,” Bhuvi said. “But there’s still a lot in there if you bowl in the right areas.”
“I think it was our best day of bowling as a bowling group because despite the conditions being more in favour of the batsmen, we really kept them quiet and stopped them from scoring freely,” Bhuvi said.
While his bowling was brilliant, Bhuvi’s impact on the Test began much before he bowled his first ball. His contribution begun with a 90-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane for the eighth wicket, batting on the green pitch. It wasn’t surprising that he rated his 36-run stint at Lord’s higher than the two fifties he got in Nottingham.
“I am enjoying batting in England. Scoring runs in Test cricket is very special. The partnership with Ajinkya was, in particular, very satisfying. We were in difficult situation and the conditions were tough. For me it is the best innings I have played so far.”