The exclusion of Bhuvneshwar Kumar from India’s 15-men squad for the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan has become a significant talking point among cricket enthusiasts. Known for his exceptional swinging abilities, the right-arm seamer has played a pivotal role in India’s bowling lineup for a long time.
However, his absence from the current T20I squad has raised questions about his future inclusion in the national team, especially with the T20I World Cup 2024 on the horizon. The looming shadow over Bhuvneshwar’s prospects for the mega event, jointly hosted by the USA and West Indies, has sparked debates and speculations within the cricketing community.
Exploring the factors behind Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s exclusion
Bhuvneshwar’s absence from the Indian T20I squad appears to be attributed to a combination of factors, foremost among them being a string of inconsistent performances on his part. Additionally, rapid rise of seamers like Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan and Prasidh Krishna has intensified competition for a spot in the fast-bowling department.
Furthermore, the current lineup’s preference for T20 specialists such as Jasprit Bumrah and Mukesh Kumar as the primary pacers, who can claim wickets in the start as well as bowl economically in death overs has left little room for Bhuvneshwar. Despite being a seasoned campaigner, the UP-based cricketer has been sidelined in T20Is since November 2022, underscoring the challenges he faces in reclaiming his position amidst a burgeoning pool of talented fast bowlers within the Indian cricketing setup.
Can IPL 2024 change Bhuvneshwar’s fate?
Bhuvneshwar’s fortunes in the IPL 2024 season could serve as a pivotal turning point in his international career. Set to don the Sunrisers Hyderabad jersey, he boasts the distinction of being the franchise’s all-time leading wicket-taker (146) and has consistently spearheaded their bowling attack with finesse. As the stakes are high, the crackerjack’s performance in the forthcoming IPL edition assumes heightened significance.
The national selectors have historically placed considerable weight on players’ IPL form when shaping the T20I squad, and this holds true for the impending World Cup as well. A charismatic display with the white leather in the cricketing carnival could potentially alter the selectors’ perceptions of Bhuvneshwar, reigniting his chances of donning the national colours. As he will again step into the IPL stage, the veteran pacer finds himself at a crucial juncture where his stellar performances could catalyse his renaissance within the Indian T20I cricketing setup.