File photo of Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar© BCCI
Veteran India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been in the eye of a storm ever since conceding 52 runs in 4 overs in the Mohali T20I against Australia. Several former cricketers have criticised Bhuvneshwar’s lack of pace and innovation in the death overs, which have contributed majorly in three key losses for the team. He was tasked with bowling the 19th over in the Super 4 matches of the Asia Cup against Pakistan and Sri Lanka and he fluffed his lines on both occasions, leading to India’s early exit from the tournament.
He had the same task as India looked to defend 208 against Australia in the 1st T20I but Bhuvneshwar was incredibly poor in his execution yet again as India lost.
Several former cricketers have called for a change in India’s strategy, which includes former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, who has been outright brutal in his assessment of the India pacer.
Butt made it clear that when a bowler lacks pace, he has very limited options to pose a threat to a batter.
“Well Naseem Shah might have gone for runs but he has troubled batters of big teams. When a bowler lacks pace, he doesn’t have too many options. Even in the 1st T20I against Australia he (Bhuvneshwar) was bowling outside the off stump. He did the same in the Asia Cup and it didn’t work.
“When you have pace you can bowl a bouncer. Your slower one automatically becomes deceptive as the batter is expecting pace. When a bowler who is already slow and bowls a slower one, there is no surprise element for the batter,” Butt explained in his scathing criticism of Bhuvneshwar.
“Naseem Shah conceded 35 and Bhuvneshwar conceded 52, there is a big difference. Also look at the difference in experience,” Butt said while comparing Naseem and Bhuvneshwar.
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