Sreesanth's advice for Bhuvneshwar Kumar
S Sreesanth came out in support of the underfiring Bhuvneshwar Kumar amidst his persistent death-overs troubles.
Former India seamer S Sreesanth had a word of healthy advice to offer to veteran quick Bhuvneshwar Kumar as he struggles to control and leash over run-scoring at the death in the build-up to the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Sreesanth said Bhuvneshwar must continue backing his abilities and skill to eventually come to the fore and help him succeed, even though the bowler is currently failing to execute his plans, especially the yorker, in the end-overs phase.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has fallen under scrutiny for his persisting troubles as a death-overs option for India. The bowler has been taken for plenty in the end phase, with his 19th over expenditure of 19, 14 and 16 runs in India's last three losses to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia putting him under the spotlight.
Even in the team's win in the deciding T20I versus the Aussies in Hyderabad on Sunday (September 25), the right-arm seamer conceded 21 runs off the 18th over. Since the start of the year, Bhuvneshwar has had a death-overs ER above 11 an over for India in T20Is, making it a major concern prior to the marquee trip Down Under.
S Sreesanth stands behind struggling Bhuvneshwar Kumar
"If Bhuvneshwar Kumar is listening to this – most often they don’t do it – but my only request is to never ever stop believing in your abilities. Sometimes, you really stop believing in your abilities. Sometimes, you get confused," Sreesanth told Hindustan Times at the sidelines of the 'Legends League Cricket' in Delhi.
"Sometimes, you read a lot, and watch a lot of videos. Sometimes, you listen to a lot of opinions on the commentary. Even I have done that; everyone goes through that phase," he added.
"But you got to believe in the immense ability that has got you here and made you the king. You got to believe in the higher power and trust your work ethics."
Sreesanth's idea for Bhuvneshwar to continue backing his tricks and experience under pressure comes from the fact that the seamer has a strong body of work historically in T20 cricket for India and in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Despite his end-overs issues in 2022, Bhuvneshwar has a career T20I economy rate of 7.02 over 79 matches for India. In the IPL, he has taken 154 wickets to his name at 7.30 runs an over.
"He has done up good batsmen," Sreesanth said. "Even if you bowl good balls, there are 60-70% chances of being hit. Sometimes, it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. We have to support Bhuvneshwar Kumar, just like (we have to support) Dinesh Karthik when it comes to batting."
"I’m very confident about his experience and ability to swing the ball; he has a back-of-the-length slower ball, he has got the knuckle ball. If he varies his pace on the hard bouncy wickets, he will get good help on Australian pitches," he added.