Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who just had a prolific return to the white-ball set-up, has stated that he is preparing himself and managing his workload, keeping the England Test series in mind. The Indian pacer further clarified that he wants to improve as a player by working on his fitness and variations.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was out of the national squad for the last couple of years following the Windies series in 2019, had a spectacular return to international cricket in the series against England. In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar donned the leadership hat and was the major difference as India romped to a 3-2 T20I series win as well as 2-1 win in the ODIs. On being asked where he does he stand in terms of his planning for the future, the UP pacer, in no uncertain terms, stated that he wants to make a red-ball return and all his preparations are aimed at that.
"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," Bhuvneshwar said in the post-match press conference.
As a matter of fact, Bhuvneshwar played only four games in IPL 2020 and had missed five of the 17 games in IPL 2018 due to his back issue and had to return from England series in 2018 with the issue resurfacing. Managing that would take some time as the pacer revealed that workload management is something that he and the team are focusing on at the moment.
"I don't decide on the long term future. Whenever I have in the past, things haven't gone my way, whether it's due to injury or form. Workload management is something I will focus on and the team management also tries and does its best. I was unfit for a long time, so I realized that fitness is something I have to maintain if I want to play regular cricket. I know that there's an England tour in front along with other series, so I will try to keep myself fit," Bhuvneshwar said.
Shardul Thakur hit a 21-ball 30 when India needed some quick runs on the board in the face of wickets falling in a heap and with the ball, he dismissed four England batsmen to keep India in the game. Bhuvneshwar was full of praise for his partner, saying that Shardul is a very improved bowler.
"Today, he performed really well. He had come in as the second change bowler when the ball doesn't swing at all and there was a lot of batting remaining too. So it's tough for any bowler to come in there and pick up wickets. If you ask me, he changed the entire match completely. What role generally spinners play, today we played one less spinner, he gave us the breakthrough and put us in a position where we could win from," Bhuvneshwar said of Shardul.
"He's improved a lot as a bowler be it in his batting or bowling. That's what a team needs, for a player to contribute with the bat or ball. He's done that since the T20s and now he's done it here. He's contributed a lot. You can see a difference in his game; not difference, but improvement. And his confidence is right up there too. Just how he's performed in the T20s or now."