Nehra explains why India should've picked Bhuvneshwar Kumar for SA series | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'You are going to South Africa...': Nehra explains why India should've picked Bhuvneshwar Kumar for white-ball leg

Dec 03, 2023 12:30 PM IST

Bhuvneshwar Kumar hasn't made an appearance for Team India since November last year.

The BCCI on Thursday announced Team India's squads for the upcoming tour of South Africa, which consists of three ODIs, as many T20Is, and two Tests. While Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will skip the white-ball leg, Suryakumar Yadav retains captaincy in T20Is while KL Rahul will lead the side in the fifty-over format. Barring Sanju Samson and Yuzvendra Chahal (both ODIs), there were no major comebacks in the squad but former India pacer Ashish Nehra believes that one player who should have been considered for the tour is Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar during India's 2022 season(Getty)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar during India's 2022 season(Getty)

An integral part of Indian white-ball setup until last year, Bhuvneshwar lost his place in the side following a series of inconsistent performances, as well as emergence of pacers like Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, and Prasidh Krishna in the side. With Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj being the first-choice pacers, there was no place for Bhuvneshwar. Nehra, however, believes the right-arm pacer would have proved beneficial in South Africa with the new ball.

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"Only one name comes to my mind, because you are going to South Africa, and you have picked a lot of fast bowlers, and that name is Bhuvneshwar Kumar. I understand that you have other new-ball options, you have Arshdeep Singh, and Mukesh Kumar is playing," Ashish Nehra said on JioCinema.

“When you talk about the white-ball, Bhuvi can fit in any team, especially when he is bowling well because he does not lack at all in terms of skill and experience. It's a different thing that he didn't play against Australia here, but he should be kept in the scheme of things.”

The pacer's last appearance for India came in November 2022 during a T20I series against New Zealand. Bhuvneshwar was part of India's T20 World Cup squad last year where India faced a 10-wicket semi-final defeat to eventual champions England. The India veteran is currently taking part in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he has picked 10 wickets in four matches so far.

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