Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has questioned Bhuvneshwar Kumar's approach in the modern-day ODI game and feels that the right-arm pacer's form is a huge area of concern for the Virat Kohli led side.
Bhuvneshwar, who could only manage 2 wickets at 100.50 and an economy of 6.09 in South Africa, picked up only 3 scalps from three matches against West Indies and has tallied only 11 wickets at a mediocre average of 48.81 from 14 games this year. Even though he bowled well against Pakistan and Bangladesh in the Asia Cup, Bhuvi hasn't looked a threat which he is supposed to be, for a while now.
This, with the World Cup only 6 months away, should be a worrying sign for the team management and the selectors, as one of their premier fast bowlers continue to struggle with the fitness and current limited overs rules and playing conditions.
Emphasizing the issue in his column for ESPNcricinfo, Sanjay wrote, "Barring Bumrah, none of the others will walk into a one-day side on merit. Yes, Bhuvneshwar until recently would have done, but I am not quite enjoying the Bhuvneshwar we have been seeing of late in 50-overs cricket,"
"While acknowledging his recent injury and its after-effects, his approach bothers me. We know the white ball does not swing much, but that does not mean Bhuvneshwar should become a "hit the deck" bowler, delivering short of length most of the time. In his recent comeback matches against West Indies, that's what he did," he affirmed, "There is a tendency in all of us to not appreciate and value what comes as natural gift to us, or what we can easily do, and it seems this has happened to Bhuvneshwar too."
"He is just not trying to get the ball up there, full and swinging it," Manjrekar noted, "This is disappointing, because even when the ball was not swinging for him in Mumbai, the few times he bowled it full, he had the batsman in trouble."
This is when Sanjay, who is doing commentary for BCCI in the ongoing home series and is closely observing the cricket, had a word of healthy advise for Bhuvneshwar and wrote, "If he gets preoccupied with hit-the-deck kind of bowling, the kind that big, strong South African bowlers bowl, I fear his one-day career might not blossom too much. This would be such a shame, for he is so earnest as a cricketer, whether batting or bowling - the kind of player every captain wants in his side."
"The thing with Bhuvneshwar is that he is not that versatile a bowler, so I feel he has no choice: to survive and thrive, he has to remain essentially a swing bowler who keeps the ball up," and signed off.