One of the best swing bowlers in the world, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has revealed that increasing speed helps a pace bowler to maintain swing and keep the batsmen at bay. He further added that improving on his pace really helped him become a better bowler in latter stages of his international career.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar's ODI debut was heroic. The swing prodigy, known for knocking over Sachin Tendulkar for a duck, had nailed an in-swinger, on his very first delivery, that crashed into the stumps of Mohammad Hafeez. For the first few years, Bhuvneshwar kept on impressing with his ability to move the ball both ways. However, there also came a phase when, in a bid to add pace, the pacer, post the 2015 World Cup, was bowling in higher 130s and touching the 140s mark. But it resulted in him losing out on his swing. Eventually, he returned back to the top-level, bowling at optimum pace, getting enough swing to trouble the batsmen and added death bowling to his repertoire.
Reflecting on his international career, the UP pacer stated that he realized with time that he needed to improve on his pace to become a better bowler, though it didn't mean to turn into an express pacer.
"Fortunately, I was able to improve the pace and that really helped me in the later stages. So yes, when you have pace, not the express 140-plus, but bowling in the mid-130kph helps maintaining that swing and keep the batsman guessing," Bhuvi said in a video posted by his IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad on its twitter handle, reported TOI.
When Bhuvneshwar started out in his career, he never thought that there was any need for him to add pace to his bowling. But as he progressed into his career, there came the realization that bowling in the 120s or just 130 kph wasn't good enough to trouble the batsmen as they were getting time to adapt to the swing.
"To be honest, first couple of years I didn't realise pace is something that needs to be added," he said.
"As I kept playing, I realised with swing I need to improve my pace because bowling in late 120kph or just 130kph, batsmen were adjusting to the swing. So, I wanted to increase the pace, but I didn't know how to do it."
After a long injury lay-off, the Indian swinger had made an impressive return to international cricket, this year, when he played the five-match T20I and three-match ODI series against England at home. However, the pace bowler, despite his decent record in England, and ability to generate swing, wasn't selected for the WTC finale and the subsequent five-match Test series against England. But he's likely to lead the bowling attack of India's second-string side for the tour of Sri Lanka, that will take place in July.