'Yes, on paper, it's my role': Bhuvneshwar Kumar on getting India vice-captaincy for Sri Lanka tour
- Will the added responsibility of being the vice-captain of the side put any pressure on Bhuvneshwar Kumar? The right-arm swing bowler said, he has been a senior member of the side for quite some time now, only his role on paper has changed for the Sri Lanka series.
With 186 caps to his credit, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the second-most experienced cricketer of the Indian squad currently in Sri Lanka behind captain Shikhar Dhawan, who has represented India in 241 matches. BCCI’s decision to name him the vice-captain for the Sri Lanka limited-overs series, therefore, was far from surprising.
One of India’s frontline bowlers in limited-overs cricket along with Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar made a comeback to the Indian side in the home series against England earlier this year after a long injury layoff.
With the absence of regular bowlers Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, who are with the Indian Test squad in England, Bhuvneshwar will lead the Indian seam-attack against Sri Lanka. But will the added responsibility of being the vice-captain of the side put any pressure on him? The right-arm swing bowler said, he has been a senior member of the side for quite some time now, only his role on paper has changed for the Sri Lanka series.
“Yes, on paper, it is my role (vice-captain), but I don’t think things will change,” Bhuvneshwar said on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected ahead of the ODI series beginning on July 13.
Bhuvneshwar, who is also expected to be a part of India’s T20 World Cup squad later this year, said as a vice-captain, he would be helping the young players to improve their game.
“I think being a senior player my role is to do things that help other players in improving their skills and mental health. Being the vice-captain of Team India is an honour and a responsibility. So, I will try to continue doing the things that I have been doing and hope our team does well on this tour,” he added.
The young Indian side has as many as six fresh faces as BCCI, for the first time, decided to prepare two teams to play in England and Sri Lanka at the same time. The Dhawan-led side will be coached by former India captain Rahul Dravid.
Asked about his thoughts of working with the legendary Dravid, Bhuvneshwar said, he always wanted to pick his brains.
“I have played against him (Rahul Dravid) and he was a part of the RCB team just when I got inducted into the team. So I don’t have any such memories with him, but when I got to the NCA, we did have some chats. I wanted to work with him and I am lucky that he is the coach. The young players have played under him for India A. So we want to work under him and pick his brain and want to understand how he manages things at that level for such a long time,” he added.
India will play three ODIs and three T20Is in Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.