Bhuvneshwar Kumar isn’t someone who’d give batsmen nightmares. In fact, he’s too soft-spoken for a medium pacer. After returning figures of 0/52 off 13 overs in his debut Test, he turned a corner here on Saturday.
Kumar made amends for his uninspiring show last week by bowling with a lot of passion on Day One of the second Test. And the responsive pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium suited his style of bowling.
Sharing the new ball with senior pro Ishant Sharma, he stunned everybody by picking up three top-order wickets in quick time, thereby easing the burden of the spinners.
Kumar made an immediate impact by picking up a wicket –– that of David Warner –– in his second over, Ed Cowan in his third and Shane Watson in his eighth. He used the conditions to good effect and came up with impressive numbers of 3/36 in an extended spell of nine overs.
After impressing many with his ability to swing the Kookaburra ball both ways in the 50-over format, Kumar made a telling statement in white clothing on Saturday. “All three wickets were very satisfying; they have been doing well for Australia,” Kumar said when asked to rate his scalps. So how were the conditions? “I told myself that something was happening off the wicket in the first over. I just bowled wicket to wicket and that delivery which got rid of him (Warner) came back into the batsman off the wicket,” he said.
He spoke of his delight after realising a dream. “It has always been a dream to play Test cricket for India and when I got my first wicket, I was very happy,” he said. “In India, the wickets column is dominated by spinners. If the medium pacer can take two wickets out of 10, then it’s good. In the first hour, something was happening off the wicket. I tried to bowl straight, wicket-to-wicket, and it worked.” Kumar had three wickets to show and Sharma none, but the fact is they bowled well together. “He is a senior player and I am learning a lot from him. The rest is all part of the game,” said Kumar. “Sometimes you get wickets, sometimes you don’t. Actually, he bowled well today.”