Lack of pace is not a limitation, says Vinay Kumar

Seamer wants to land an average of four to five balls in the right areas, Down Under

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Just last week, speculations were rife on who would replace the injured Praveen Kumar for the all-important tour of Australia. Three names were doing the rounds: Abhimanyu Mithun, Irfan Pathan and R Vinay Kumar.

Of the three, Vinay was extremely confident of making the cut. After all he’d been pretty consistent in ODIs in the limited opportunities presented to him. And his craft is quite similar to that of Praveen Kumar. He is accurate, moves the ball both ways, though like Praveen he is not express.

Yet it was Mithun who got the nod. Vinay Kumar however chose not to react. He ducked the question during a media conference before the one-dayer against the West Indies in Indore.

He said that one day he’d like to be seen in whites. Somewhere, despite missing the Test bus, he’d a faith that his time would come.

It wasn’t too long before the fates smiled. Varun Aaron’s back injury ruled him out of the tour and the selectors were quick to include Vinay to the squad.

Hours before departing for Canberra, he told DNA that he was not surprised with the call-up. “I won’t say it was a surprise, but the way the call came, I was slightly surprised. I was pretty confident that one day I’d get a chance since I he’d been doing well. Injury is part and parcel of a sportsman’s life, especially if he is a bowler. Varun got injured and I got a chance. It is a good opportunity and I will try to give my best performance,” he said. 

Was he disappointed at being ignored after Praveen was ruled out? “Yes, disappointment was there. I always wanted to play Test cricket for India. But I didn’t let it affect me on the field. I kept performing and kept getting better and better by the day. I kept my focus intact. Now I am glad my day has come.”

Like others, the tour of Australia could make his career. He wants to keep it simple, bowl straight and hit the right areas. “Each match is important for every cricketer. I’d like to take one game at a time. I’d like to contribute with my performance whenever I get the opportunity. It is a big series and the pressure will be immense. But it will be good if I take it a day at a time. Keep landing at least four to five balls in the right areas. Definitely, it will help me take wickets. Basically, I would like to keep it simple,” he said.

Vinay has been to Australia in the past, thrice with the Karnataka team and once with the emerging players. He feels adaptability will be the key. “I have been there four times. Once I got the award for the best bowler in the Emerging Tournament. There you get good bounce. But in Australia there will also be wickets favouring batsmen. You will have to alter the length. The more you adjust, the better for you,” he added.

“Presence of Zaheer and other experienced players will be helpful to us,” he said. The Karnataka seamer may not have the pace of Umesh Yadav or Varun Aaron, but it is not something that affects him. He said, “I don’t think that is something which will make me think. Many bowlers bowl with that speed. I can swing the ball both ways. If you bowl in good areas, you can get wickets.”

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