Will have England Test series in mind going forward: Bhuvneshwar
Indian pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar, on Tuesday, hinted at his return to the Test format. The 31-year-old recently returned from a spate of injuries that kept him out after the 2019 World Cup. Bhuvneshwar, who starred in India's ODI series win, said that he will have the upcoming five-Test series against England in mind when he trains during the IPL. Here is more.
Speaking on his preparation at the post-match presentation (3rd ODI), Bhuvi said, "Whatever preparation happens from my side will happen with red-ball cricket in mind." "That's different from what will happen in team selections, but my training and workload during the IPL will happen with Test cricket in mind. I want to play Test cricket going forward," he added.
Bhuvneshwar last played Test cricket in 2018 on the South Africa tour. He picked four wickets in the Wanderers Test that India won by 63 runs. So far, he has taken 63 wickets from 21 Tests, a tally that includes 4 five-wicket hauls.
Bhuvneshwar's tryst with injuries dates back to 2018 when he discovered back issues. After missing five games in the IPL, he missed the third T20I and first two ODIs on the England tour due to similar issues. He eventually returned home midway through the five-Test series. Bhuvi was rested when West Indies toured India later in the year.
Bhuvneshwar didn't get a game (Tests) on the 2018/19 Australia Tests as he wasn't fully fit. There were hamstring troubles for him at the ICC CWC 2019, where he missed three games. He wasn't picked for the WI Test tour, having missed three Tests and the three-match T20I series against South Africa with a side strain. He also missed three T20Is against Bangladesh.
Speaking on his workload, Bhuvi said, "Workload management is something I will focus on and management also tries and does its best. I was unfit for long, so I realized that fitness is something I have to maintain if I want to play regularly."
Bhuvneshwar remained India's most bankable bowler in the ODIs against England. He finished the ODI series with with second-most wickets (6) at an economy of 4.6. He proved as India's go-to bowler whenever the Men in Blue were wanted to contain runs and produce breakthroughs. Bhuvi, who also scalped four wickets in T20Is, would want to replicate the performance in the impending IPL season.