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B Arun’s contribution is invaluable: Bhuvneshwar Kumar

The in-form bowler speaks about finding his mojo back with the swing along with the pace, his approach during a short series and more….

A traditional swing bowler, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has evolved immensely as a cricketer in the past couple of years. For all those who were spectators to his batting against Sri Lanka, can vouch for his maturity as a player.

His extensive training regime has helped him pick up the extra pace in his bowling which has only proved lethal for all the oppositions. And it was another quality bowling performance on display during the 2nd ODI against New Zealand in Pune.

While Team India found itself in an unfamiliar situation after being one down in the series, a notched-up performance in Pune helped the team level the series 1-1.

Bhuvneshwar, with his precise bowling, picked up three crucial wickets and was declared the Man of the Match for the same.

Speaking to the media on the eve of the 3rd and final ODI against New Zealand, Bhuvneshwar credited the Bowling Coach, B Arun for his management and inputs.

“He is somebody who manages the bowlers really well. At this level you don’t want to get too much into the technique. He sometimes pinpoints certain things which can really improve your bowling. For example, I increased my pace but I lost my swing. I did not know how to go about it. So, he shared some fine points that helped me get my swing back. His role in the team is invaluable,” added Bhuvneshwar.

Talking about his personal form and evolution as a player, he said, “As a player I feel I have grown in the past couple of years. I have improved my pace without losing on the swing. That is something I am really happy about. In batting also, I have improved a bit.”

With the series equally poised at 1-1, it will be a decider at the Green Park Stadium on Sunday and the state lad feels that it will be a nice challenge for the team in this last match.

“We have not been challenged like this in a while and it is a short series. So, there was pressure in the last game that we could lose the series (having lost the first match). But, the way we came back shows the character of the team. Tomorrow’s match is also about handling pressure. We will try to play like we played the last game,” added Bhuvneshwar.

Asked about the approach in a three-match series compared to a longer one, Bhuvneshwar said, “It is a short series, but mental approach is the same as any other series. But as I said, we have not been challenged in a while at home, so everyone is looking forward to the challenge.”

Having played with the likes of Kane Williamson and Trent Boult for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, the bowler feels that it’s a positive as well as a negative.

“Last series I played against New Zealand, the planning was easy. It is the same for them also. Knowing them well and vice versa makes planning tougher. So, it is a positive as well as a negative,” he iterated.

Rajlaxmi Arora
Rajlaxmi Arora

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Good testing ground for India to bounce back and win: B Arun

It was a regular day at work for Team India as they practiced ahead of the 2nd ODI against New Zealand in Pune.

After being 1-0 down in the series, it is a must-win game for the hosts to keep the series alive.

Talking to media ahead of the game, Bowling Coach B Arun said it was a big challenge for the Indian team. “We look at it as a big challenge right now. New Zealand compete exceptionally well, they had a fantastic partnership in the Mumbai game and they went on to win that game. It’s a bigger challenge for us to come back. We know we have our plans in place and it’s a good testing ground for the team on how you come back from behind and do well in the series,” he added.

A 200-run partnership between Tom Latham and Ross Taylor steered New Zealand to a six-wicket victory over India and the duo were praised for their way of handling the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

Talking about new plans and the implementation, Arun said, “Yes, we do have plans. We have taken a good look at the videos and how they played the sweeps. Definitely, the bowling plans would change for these batsmen.”

While it wasn’t a great outing for the two wrist-spinners, Arun heaped praise on the duo for having shaped up beautifully in the past couple of months.

“India has won nine games on the trot and these two wrist spinners have done their job and they have time and again taken wickets. Sometimes it does happen that you don’t get the desired wickets and you have your plans in place but it doesn’t work out. If you look at the overall percentages, we are happy with the way Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have shaped up. One odd match shouldn’t trouble us,’ he added.

With an action-packed cricket calendar, the workload of the fast bowlers has been the talking point and Arun made it clear that Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav are the first choice for Test matches while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are preferred options for limited overs cricket.

“If you look at Shami and Umesh, they are your number one Test bowlers. And Bhuveshwar and Bumrah have been exceptional and possess all the skills to do well in One Day Competitions. With the volume of cricket India is going to play, it is very important that we have pool of bowlers to choose from so that they remain fresh for every form of the game that we play,’ he iterated.

Rajlaxmi Arora
Rajlaxmi Arora

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