I don’t have a need, a need for speed, says Bhuvneshwar Kumar

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“I don’t run after speed”

India pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar doesn’t have a need for speed like a majority of other seamers do as he is more focused on his line, length and variations.

“When I started playing cricket, I knew that my physique is not at all like a typical fast bowler,” he told PTI. “My body language is also different and I am not aggressive by nature thus my focus was always on my skills.

“I don’t run after speed. Obviously, it will be better to have some more pace but I am very well aware that I can’t bowl with the speed of 150 kmph. I am working hard on my technique and variations.”

Kumar has been unstoppable as of late as he bagged six wickets in the Champions Trophy in June at an average of 22.83 before following it up with 10 wickets at an unbelievable average of 9.70 in the tri-series tournament, which included the West Indies and Sri Lanka, in July.

During the tri-series tournament, Kumar recorded his career-best bowling figures of four wickets for eight runs in a match against Sri Lanka.

Kumar has been working extremely hard over the past couple of weeks in anticipation for the “hectic” season to come.

“Next season is going to be very hectic so I am utilising this break to work on my fitness and sharpen my skills,” he said. “I am doing a lot of gym and the stint in NCA has been very beneficial.

“I am working on my swing and yorkers. It is also necessary to mould according to the format like you have to bowl differently in ODIs and test matches.”

The 22-year-old is also looking forward to playing against Australia and the West Indies before India travel to South Africa.

“There is no additional pressure,” he added. “I will bowl with the same intensity. The South Africa tour is at the end of this year. Before that we have to play a series against Australia and then with West Indies. I am keeping my eyes on those right now.”

Kumar has always been known as the man who took Zaheer Khan’s spot in the team, but the youngster believes no one can really replace the veteran left-arm fast bowler.

“Zaheer has vast experience and is a great bowler,” he said. “Nobody can replace him. As far as I am concerned my priority is to perform well and win matches for India. Our pace department is very well balanced and there is a healthy competition which is good for the team.”

The young pace bowler also attributed all his recent success to his team-mates and the positive vibe in the dressing room.

“My family and friends were always supportive but my teammates and the dressing room atmosphere played a major role in my good performance recently,” he said. “Most of the players have played junior cricket together and gel very well. We keep motivating each other that resulted in good performance as a unit.”

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