Mumbai: The cricket fans were left quite surprised that star pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was not named in the Indian team for the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand next month and the subsequent five-match Test series against England.
However, sources claim that the Uttar Pradesh bowler now wants to distance himself from Test cricket and wants to focus only on T20s. “Bhuvneshwar just doesn’t want to play Test cricket anymore. That drive has gone missing,” a source was quoted as saying to TOI.
“Those who have seen him from close insist he brought in a huge change in his work-drills a couple of seasons ago, doing away with heavy weight training, falling to the lure of the white-ball comfort and avoiding those hours of long spells that are so integral to red-ball cricket.”
The source also added that the Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer is not seen as a bowler for the five-day format by the selectors considering the services which he could have provided to the side, with his renowned abilities. “To be honest, the selectors don’t even see Bhuvi hungry for 10 overs, forget Test cricket. It’s India’s loss no doubt, because if one bowler should have made it to England, it should have been him,” the source added.
This would come as a major setback for the BCCI as Bhuvneshwar was considered one of the best pacers in the country. In Bhuvi’s absence aside, the Virat Kohli-led side is totally leaning on pacers like Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma.
“Ishant has been the backbone of India’s attack, and rightly so, but when was the last time he worked his way through an entire series? Injury relapses and niggles have been a constant irritant. That will leave the bulk of the responsibility on two pacers, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami. The team management is learnt to be leaning heavily on Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur to rise to the occasion,” the source stated.
Bhuvneshwar last played a Test match in January 2018. His multiple injury issues have kept him away from the national side since then. Back in 2014, When the Indian team went on a tour of England, Bhuvneshwar performed brilliantly in the Test series. He took 19 wickets in just five matches on that tour, which include a sensational six at the Lord’s.
He also scored three fifties during the series, aggregating 247 runs. In 2018, he missed the tour due to injury and since then he hasn’t played a single Test match. He showed spectacular performance against England in the T20I and ODI series earlier this year.