Bhuvneshwar Kumar's absence from South Africa series part of his workload management: Childhood coach
A few eyebrows were raised when Bhuvneshwar Kumar was not picked for the recently concluded three-match T20I series against South Africa despite his good performances in white-ball cricket. Bhuvneshwar was overlooked for Umesh Yadav for the Test series against the Proteas after Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out of the series owing to a lower back injury. Bhuvneshwar’s childhood coach Vipin Vats reckons his exclusion from the team is a part of the workload management while adding the team management knows Bhuvneshwar’s limitations and understands when and how to play him.
“There are new boys coming up in the Indian team. The team management knows Bhuvi’s limitations, and realize when and how to play him,” Vats said.
Bhuvneshwar has played 21 Tests, 114 ODIs and 40 T20Is but has been in an out of the Indian squad in recent times. The ace swing bowler last played a Test match in 2018 in South Africa and has been absent in the longest format of the game since then. However, he was a crucial part of the team in the ICC World Cup 2019 and is expected to be the same in the next T20 World Cup in 2020.
Vats is of the view that a bowler cannot bowl with the same intensity as a 24-year-old when he is 28 and needs to consistently evolve with growing age. Bhuvneshwar’s coach feels the decision to lessen Indian seamer’s workload is the right one if the team considers him as an integral part of the plans for the forthcoming World T20 2020 in Australia.
“I’ve been coaching Bhuvi since he was a two-year-old kid. I always tell him, as a bowler, one cannot possibly be consistently performing at the same level throughout his career. You cannot bowl with the same intensity as a 24-year-old when you’re 28,” he added.
“When Bhuvi suffered from back pain in England, I talked to him for one hour. He wasn’t able to generate swing, and I advised him on how to manage things then. The current situation is quite similar. The team management has done the right thing to lessen Bhuvi’s workload if they consider him as an important member of the side for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup,” Vats added.
A Bhuvneshwar-less Team India will be in action on Wednesday (October 2) when it plays South Africa in the opening Test of the three-match series in Visakhapatnam. However, Bhuvneshwar is expected to back in the limited-overs set-up when India take on Bangladesh in a three-match T20I series in November.