Bhuvneshwar Kumar started 2019 in grand style as he struck early in the first ODI between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday. The right-arm pacer from Uttar Pradesh managed to get rid of Aaron Finch for 6 with a delivery that nipped back in sharply off the deck and Finch only managed to drag the ball back onto the stumps. The wicket for Bhuvneshwar was his 100th in his 96th ODI and it was almost similar to the way how he got his first wicket when he made his debut for India against Pakistan in the Chennai ODI in 2012. In that match, Bhuvneshwar struck with his very first delivery in his ODI career when Mohammad Hafeez shouldered arms to a delivery that curved back in sharply. Although India lost the match, Bhuvneshwar’s figures of 9-3-27-2 established him as a star.
Following his debut, Bhuvneshwar became a vital member of the Indian ODI set-up and was considered the team’s key bowler in this format. However, injuries and a drop in pace resulted in Bhuvneshwar spending time on the sidelines. In the Indian Premier League, playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad and under the guidance of Tom Moody, the 28-year-old rediscovered his touch and became one of the premier death-over bowlers in the tournament.
His form in the IPL resulted in rejuvenation in the national side. Along with Jasprit Bumrah, the duo formed a lethal combination where they tied the opposition down in the final overs of an ODI, a time when batting sides make the most number of runs. In the last couple of years, Bhuvneshwar has had immense success when it comes to wickets. In the 2017 series against Sri Lanka, Bhuvneshwar picked up 5/42, his first five-wicket haul as India swept Sri Lanka 5-0 in the ODIs and it was a series where they achieved the tourwash, demolishing them 3-0 and then winning the one-off T20I against them.
Bhuvneshwar first made headlines as a 19-year-old when he knocked over Sachin Tendulkar for 0 in a domestic first-class game, which was Tendulkar’s first-ever duck. In Tests, the Uttar Pradesh right-arm pacer has had good success, finishing the 2014 series against England as the leading wicket-taker while taking five-wicket hauls in West Indies and also at home in New Zealand.