India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar revealed that he emulated Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath during his early days in cricket.
Bhuvneshwar, who has played 114 ODIs and 21 Tests for India, said that McGrath’s line and length impressed him while he was learning fast bowling. The India pacer was fascinated by McGrath’s ability to cut the ball away from the wicket. “I realized that given my lean physique, I wouldn’t be able to imitate the bulkier Shoaib Akhtar. Instead, I looked to Glen McGrath for inspiration. His strength and his line and length really impressed me. Till this day, I try to learn and emulate his seam position and how he makes the ball cut away from the wicket,” said Bhuvneshwar on his exclusive online class with FrontRow.
The two-time highest wicket-taker of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Bhuvneshwar rose to prominence after his impressive T20 debut against Pakistan and a tournament-winning performance in the tri-series versus Sri Lanka and West Indies.
The right-arm pacer hailing from Meerut, also shared his expert insights, tips, and instructions that will help both beginners who want to learn fast-bowling or young cricketers who want to improve their game.
“Fast bowling is certainly tough because of the toll it takes on your body. However, if you are committed and dedicated, and pay attention to certain technical aspects, you can learn and improve,” said Bhuvneshwar.
Talking about the moment that spurred him on to pick up the game, Bhuvi, as he is fondly known, recalls, “My first cricket memory is of watching India’s 1999 World Cup game against New Zealand. I remember I was watching the game at home with my sister and I cried a lot when we lost. I will never forget that moment because that was when I realized how passionate I was about this game.”
Like most people in this country, Bhuvi started out playing gully cricket, where he did not quite realise his real potential for pace bowling. He highlighted the importance of a good mentor by recalling the incident that set him down the correct path.“In gully cricket, everybody thinks of themselves as an all-rounder. When I went to the academy for the first time with my sister, and the coach asked me what I did, I said everything. He saw something in me that made him hand me the ball, and since then I have never looked back,” said the India pacer.
Talking about the course, in which the pacer has shared his experience and learnings for the first time, Bhuvi says, “I have put this course together keeping everybody in mind, whether you are just a fan who wants to begin playing or you already play but want to refine your game and get insights into the mind of a professional cricketer.”
“However, I strongly advise all budding cricketers to keep practicing. Coaches can share their teachings with you, but there is no short cut to the hard work you must put in,” he added.