T20 World Cup: Will Bhuvneshwar Kumar lead India's pace attack?
Indian pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar finished as the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the recently-concluded India-SA T20I series. He finally got back his mojo after undergoing a lean patch. Bhuvi would surely be on the radar of Indian selectors ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup. The senior pacer could be a match-winner for India in the tournament given the kind of rhythm he has.
IND vs SA: Bhuvi was the Player of the Series
Bhuvneshwar snapped up six wickets in the series, the joint-second-most with Yuzvendra Chahal. He averaged just 14.17 with the ball. Bhuvi had the best economy rate by an Indian bowler in the series (6.07). He was named the Player of the Series for his astonishing performance. Bhuvneshwar now has four such awards in international cricket, the most by an Indian pacer.
Bhuvneshwar attains this feat
Bhuvneshwar has become the first-ever Indian pacer to have won the Player of the Series award more than once in T20Is. He also bagged the award in the 2018 T20I series in South Africa. He averaged just 9.57 in the three-match series, taking seven wickets.
Bhuvi did a decent job in the IPL
Bhuvneshwar took more than 10 wickets in an IPL season for the first time since 2019. He scalped 12 in the 2022 season at an average of 31.92. Bhuvi had an economy rate of 7.34. His best bowling figures of 3/22 came against Punjab Kings.
Bhuvi made limited appearances for India before 2022
Bhuvneshwar was once India's go-to pacer across formats. Perpetual injuries and lack of match fitness dented his plight. Bhuvi has played sporadically for India since January 2018. Although the fast bowler was a part of India's squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup, he featured in a solitary game (against Pakistan). However, his numbers have improved this year.
Second-most T20I wickets for India in 2022
Bhuvi is one of the two Indian bowlers to have taken more than 10 wickets in T20 Internationals this year, the other being Harshal Patel. The former has taken 11 wickets from nine T20Is at an incredible average of 17.27. His economy rate is below seven (6.78). Notably, Bhuvi has conceded just 190 runs from 28 overs in the format so far (2022).
A dependable bowler in white-ball cricket
Despite his injury issues, Bhuvneshwar is always looked upon as a dependable white-ball pacer. He is one of the few bowlers in international cricket who has the propensity to swing the ball both ways, something that he showcased in the recently-concluded series against SA. Notably, Bhuvi, in 2018, became the first Indian to take a five-wicket haul in each of the three formats.