Bhuvneshwar Kumar is yet to play for India in the post-pandemic world. The last time Bhuvneshwar featured in a T20I was in a home match against West Indies 15 months ago. No wonder India captain Virat Kohli was ‘so glad’ to have his ace seamer back in the side.
The five-match T20I series against starting on Friday in Ahmedabad will mark the return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Expressing his delight at the right-arm pacer’s return to the side, Kohli said Bhuvneshwar is guy you can bank on.
“Bhuvi is shaping up really nice. He is a smart operator like we have seen in the past. He has clear understanding what he wants to do and is one of our most experienced T20 bowlers. He is the guy you can bank on, so glad to have him back,” Kohli said in the pre-match virtual press conference ahead of the first T20I against England in Ahmedabad.
Englands captain Eoin Morgan attends a practice session ahead of their first Twenty20 International match against India.
️🗣️ "Very glad to have Bhuvi back."
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 11, 2021
The experienced campaigner who used to be a regular in India limited overs sides was sidelined due to injuries. When he returned fit for the IPL last year, another hamstring injury cut his joy, pushing him into rehab.
Bhuvneshwar proved his fitness in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s and Vijay Hazare domestic one-dayers where he played for Uttar Pradesh.
Bhuvneshwar will lead India’s pace attack against England which has the likes of Deepack Chahar, T Natarajan (unavailable for the first match), Navdeep Saini, and Shardul Thakur.
“We have have played with a certain kind of pattern in the past. We did not have a big tournament to work towards in the past. If you look the squad, the additions we have made we have have tried to address a few things we needed in specific,” Kohli said
Commenting on youngsters of the squad, the India captain added that they have been picked because of the ‘x-factor’ they bring to the table.
“Guys who can be ‘x factors’ with the bat and do things which are the need of the hour in T20 cricket. These guys have done so on a regular basis in the IPL so we have tried to cover all those basis. Now it will be interesting to see how they go about in these five games.”
Having not had enough options in the past, Kohli is happy with what he has at his disposal now. “These are the only five games we have as a team before the World Cup and we want to see how these guys fare in the middle. I feel the squad right now we have barring Jaddu, who will come back whenever fit, is the most balanced in terms of the options available to take the field as and when required.”