Steyn’s company will make me better: Bhuvi

New SRH pacer keen to learn from world’s best fast bowler

Abu Dhabi 19 April 2014
They say numbers don’t lie. But they don’t always reveal the entire truth as well. If anyone were to look at the scorecard of the Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals game in Abu Dhabi, they’d see 3.3-0-21-1 written against the name of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

However, what those numbers don’t tell you is that in his third over – sixth of the RR innings – Bhuvi almost got Watson to nick one behind with a peach of an out-swinger and foxed Ajinkya Rahane with the one that shaped back in. Both these balls deserved wickets but none fetched him one. In the end, the Royals just managed to scamper home.

In a chat with, Bhuvi relived those crucial misses which could have been game-changing moments. He enthused over bowling with Dale Steyn and spoke of his best T20 spell.

You loved bowling in these conditions!

Oh, yes. These were the perfect conditions for me – there was grass on the wicket and I was getting the ball to swing. I know that when I get conditions like this, I become a different bowler altogether.

You deserved a wicket in your third over, didn’t you?

Yes, I thought I did. I bowled an out-swinger to Watson and the one that came in to Ajinkya. Both were lucky to miss the edge. When you are bowling that well, you do feel like you should have ended up with more wickets. But it was equally satisfying to see Ishant pick up a wicket in the very next over. When you create pressure in the previous over for your partner to strike, it is sometimes as satisfying as picking up a wicket yourself. That’s how you win matches – bowling in pairs.

Does it affect your bowling when you’re a part of such world class unit?

It does not affect my bowling as such but it does affect the kind of bowler I am. You learn more when bowling alongside someone like Dale. There are so many little things I can pick up from him that can help me become a better bowler. That is the biggest positive of being part of such an attack. I bowled with Dale a few times in the nets but talking to him during the match about specific batsmen’s weaknesses and planning was a learning experience.

This happened some time back but tell me, did that spell against West Indies (3-0-3-0) and especially to Gayle have any effect on you as a bowler?

It did. West Indies have a very strong top-order and it is not easy to bowl to them without conceding runs. Although I did not take any wicket, it was the best spell I have ever bowled in T20 cricket. Yes, the ball was swinging but it was only because I was putting it in the right areas. I learned a lesson that day that if I stick to my guns without being distracted, I can be quite a handful to handle.

With Ishant on one side and Mishra on the other, did you feel like you’re bowling for India?

Actually, I did. I saw Ishant, Mishra and Shikhar was the captain. At times, I did get a feeling that I am playing for India. But a look at the jersey and the logo on it got me back in the franchise mode.

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