Bhuvneshwar Kumar revealed that he was not the same bowler after adding a few miles to his bowling as his swing disappeared for a while with injuries resurfacing time and again. The Meerut pacer has also added that the outside pressure started taking a toll after a certain point when he was injured.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a tragic story of a fine performer who stood the test of time to emerge victorious time and again. However, things seemed to have gone off track when he lost his swinging ability in search of pace and even though he managed to add that extra zing to his bowling, he was never the same anymore. His natural ability didn't allow him to move the ball back into the right-handed the way it used to, but once he was settled in the new avatar, things started making sense again.
"If you have a limited pace and swing, batsmen begin to adjust to it. Then, I started giving out runs, after which the time to change something had come. I felt I needed to increase my pace. It also happened that I got injured and it took time to come back from it. My bowling didn't have that rhythm, things weren't going too well," Bhuvneshwar said on Cricbuzz's Spicy Pitch.
"But then, I started training and tried to change it around. That training helped me. Unknowingly, my pace increased. But I struggled for 1-2 series because with that pace, I wasn't used to bowling with it. So, the ball wouldn't swing. When I wasn't used to it, the body took too much load. There were a few injuries and niggles. But when I got my off time things began to work out slowly."
Kumar's paradox rings a bell about another prodigious swing bowler of the past, Irfan Pathan. Irfan, for his ability to move the ball both ways, was highly applauded but when he tried to add pace to his bowling, he was found out. For Bhuvneshwar, the classic case of that being the second T20I of the 2015 series against South Africa in Cuttack and the subsequent Mumbai ODI when he conceded over 100 runs in his spell. That made him an easy pick, something he was really frustrated about.
"Absolutely, there was (fear). Generally, you believe in yourself. But when you start listening to what people are saying, you can try to ignore it but it will eventually reach your ears. That 'he's lost his swing, now he's going towards pace'. But you (also) know inside, what you are getting out of. Fortunately, I was able to emerge from that," admitted Bhuvneshwar.
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