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Bhuvneshwar Kumar – The Sultan of Swing

There aren’t too many players in the history of the game who were adjudged the Man of the Match in the last Test they played and then found themselves dropped from the side. That’s what happened to Bhuvneshwar Kumar after his match-winning display in the Johannesburg Test against South Africa in January 2018. The loss of his Test spot and a succession of niggling injuries may have lessened his prospects of adding to his India caps, but no one can take away the role that Bhuvneshwar played in Indian cricket’s transition period.

On the otherwise dismal tour of England in 2014, he led the way with 247 runs and 19 wickets, and India will always wonder how differently the 2015 World Cup campaign may have ended if he hadn’t been injured for most of it. He had played a huge part as India went unbeaten through the Champions Trophy in 2013, but wasn’t part of the side that lost in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in 2016, the year he won the first of his two Purple Caps in the Indian T20 League.

The first Purple Cap helped the Hyderabad team to their first, and so far only, league title. He did even better in 2017, when his 26 wickets in 14 matches came at a stunning average of 14.19 and a miserly economy rate of 7.05. The fact that he has taken just 31 wickets in 42 league matches since that season might help explain why Hyderabad haven’t won the trophy again.

As one of the squad’s senior players, he led the team for a spell in 2019, but the priority has been to get his rhythm back, a process he is taking very seriously, producing a number of effective spells of late. Hyderabad had a disastrous 2021 season following which there was a series of exodus as a part of which Kumar was also released. The team, though, bought him back at the auction, spending ₹4.20 crores on him. His swing bowling also earned him a place on India’s squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup.

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Personal Details

    • Name
    • :
    • Bhuvneshwar Kumar Singh
    • Date of Birth
    • :
    • 5th February 1990
    • Birthplace
    • :
    • Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
    • Height
    • :
    • 5′10″
    • Bowling Style
    • :
    • Right-arm medium
    • Playing Role
    • :
    • Bowler
    • Major Teams Played For
    • :
    • India, Pune team, Hyderabad team

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Current Rankings

Bhuvneshwar Kumar Career Summary

    • Format
    • M
    • Inn
    • Wickets
    • Best Bowling
    • Avg
    • SR
    • ER
    • 4W
    • 5W
    • CT
    • Test
    • 21
    • 37
    • 63
    • 6/82 vs Eng
    • 26.09
    • 53.1
    • 2.94
    • 3
    • 4
    • 8
    • ODI
    • 121
    • 120
    • 141
    • 5/42 vs SL
    • 35.11
    • 41.40
    • 5.08
    • 4
    • 1
    • 29
    • T20I
    • 59
    • 59
    • 58
    • 5/24 vs SA
    • 25.17
    • 21.60
    • 6.99
    • 1
    • 1
    • 10

Bhuvneshwar Kumar - Key Skills and Strengths

Never blessed with great pace, Bhuvneshwar made a name for himself with his ability to swing the ball and get subtle movement off the pitch. The big inswinger was initially his main weapon, but he also learned to take the ball away from right-handers. His control and accuracy were his biggest assets in the seam-friendly conditions of England, and his familiarity with the SG ball used for Test matches in India made him a tricky proposition on Indian pitches too. The skills used in the longer format stood him in good stead in ODIs and T20s, especially his ability to bowl dot balls and increase the pressure on the batters. With the bat, he is a reliable and steady performer, as he showed in England in 2014.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Captaincy Record

    • Format
    • Matches
    • Won
    • Lost
    • Tie
    • NR
    • I T20 League
    • 6
    • 2
    • 4
    • 0
    • 0

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Awards and Achievements

Injuries and the emergence of a new crop of pace bowlers may have cost him a place in the Indian cricket team, especially in Tests, but Bhuvneshwar played a crucial role in restoring pride after a couple of tough years of transition. Whatever the format, he was never less than reliable, taking wickets with the new ball, keeping things tight and scoring valuable runs with the bat. He remains part of the limited-overs plans as India seek to end a global trophy drought that goes back to the Champions Trophy in 2013.

Here are some of Bhuvneshwar’s records and achievements in international cricket:

  • Bhuvneshwar won the ICC People’s Choice Award in 2014, after scoring 247 runs and taking 19 wickets on the tour of England.

  • He was named in the ICC’s Team of the Tournament after India won the Champions Trophy in 2013.

  • He is the only Indian No. 9 batter to score 3 Test fifties in England.

  • He is the first Indian bowler to take a 5-wicket haul in each of the three formats.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Indian T20 League Journey

Though Bangalore signed Bhuvneshwar when he was still a teenager, he didn’t get opportunities to play for them. It was only after moving to the Pune team in 2011 that he established himself as one of the league’s finest bowlers. In 2014, he was bought by the Hyderabad franchise and was a key player in the team’s progress in subsequent seasons. He was integral to their title win in 2016, and the dip in his performance in the last couple of seasons has affected their results badly. He will hope to rediscover his form this year after his franchise showed faith in him.

Here are some of Bhuvneshwar’s biggest achievements in the Indian T20 League:

  • With 142 wickets, Bhuvneshwar has taken more wickets than any other Indian pace bowler in the league.

  • He won the Purple Cap for being the leading wicket taker in both 2016 and 2017, the only bowler to do that in consecutive seasons.

  • Of the pace bowlers with more than 100 wickets in the competition, only Lasith Malinga has a better economy rate.

  • No pace bowler in the league’s history has bowled more dot balls than Bhuvneshwar has (1,267).

  • Only Praveen Kumar and Irfan Pathan have bowled more maiden overs than Bhuvneshwar has (9).

    • Format
    • M
    • Wickets
    • Best Bowling
    • Avg
    • SR
    • ER
    • 4W
    • 5W
    • CT
    • Indian T20 League
    • 132
    • 142
    • 5/19 vs Punjab
    • 25.26
    • 20.76
    • 7.30
    • 2
    • 1
    • 27

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: FAQs

What did Kumar want to become before he decided to play cricket?

He wanted to join the Indian Army.

Which cricket ground is Kumar’s favorite?

Lord’s in London, where he is on the Honours Board after taking 6-82 in 2014.

Which bowlers does he name as his favorites?

Wasim Akram, legendary Pakistan swing bowler, and Praveen Kumar, also from Meerut, who showed him a pathway to the Indian team.

Is Bhuvneshwar single?

No, he married Nupur Nagar, a software engineer, in 2017 after a long courtship.

Which modern-day tennis legend does he like most?

Novak Djokovic, who recently drew level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slam titles.

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