Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of the most disciplined cricketers in the Indian team. He may not have a funky look and colorful hair, but he has been successful in attracting fans with his calm and composed attitude.
The cricketer said, "I don't have to prove or show off," when asked about his six-pack abs. "I only have a family pack; never really felt the need for abs or something like that because to my mind being fit in terms of cricket is far more important than anything," he added.
But his Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) teammate Yusuf Pathan isn't satisfied with the answer. "He's lying," Yusuf says. "He has those six-pack abs. It's just not in his nature to show them for flashbulbs. In fact, that's his style of cricket too as he will do the job and then stay in the background. He has won India so many matches yet you will never see him overexcited," he added.
Bhuvneshwar is currently suffering from a bad back. He had to sit out in a couple of games because of same reasons. However, he is confident of coming back soon. "My back has been stiff and it's just a precautionary decision to give me some rest. I should be back soon," he told Mail Today in an Exclusive chat.
The Indian pace spearhead has improved a lot as a pacer in last two years. He considers St Lucia Test against West Indies in 2016 as his turning point in career. "I worked hard on my game in the last two years. I think the St Lucia Test (2016) was the turning point as I wasn't a regular in the Test team then but my spell on the fourth evening opened a window for India to win the Test. Since then, I have consciously worked on my pace and movement, my fitness and the variations required as a bowler. I would go back to the IPL in 2016 and say that really helped me realize what I needed to do with my fitness and bowling."
When he was given a tag of "Most Valuable Player" for his all-round contribution, the speedster denied it. "No, no there are far more better players than me in the Indian team and if you look at the last three years I think there would be 4-5 players who have won India matches. I just try to improve every series. Fast bowlers were always supposed to be fit but with Virat's insistence, even a fast bowler's definition of fitness has gone onto the next level. We all know just bowling won't do in modern international cricket and we have to contribute with the bat and as a fielder too. Virat wants his team to be fit vis-a-vis other international teams and you can see the difference in our attitude. When I began I was more of a swing bowler with little pace but I realized it will be difficult to sustain without the pace so my fitness has now allowed me maybe an extra yard of pace. That has been the secret of my success."
The Uttar Pradesh cricketer is eyeing the upcoming England tour. "The last time we went to England in 2014 we won a Test but couldn't capitalize after that. This time when we go there we know we can beat them and win the series. We have the bowling and batting but we are aware that to win a long series abroad, we have to give our best and we will be prepared for that," Bhuvneshwar said.