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‘Smart work’ keeps pacer Bhuvneshwar ahead of the competition

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Mumbai :Roughly six years into his international career, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has found a way to sustain himself at the highest level which has kept him ahead of the competition. ‘Smart work’ is the mantra for the 28-year-old pacer who has the lowest bowling average (26.09) among Indian fast bowlers since his Test debut in 2013.

“The only difference for me is the mindset you have towards the game. I believe in smart work,” Bhuvneshwar tells CricketCountry.com on the sidelines of a promotional event for ASICS. “Everybody puts in the hard work, but being smart about it is how I look at it. We play so much of cricket that we have to keep a tab on everything – from getting proper rest to recovery and practice. Therefore, for me it’s the smart work,” said the pacer.

Speed and swing are the two traits that fast bowlers strive to combine, but few have been successful in finding the right balance between the two. Bhuvneshwar is no different. He recently added a bit of pace but seemed to have comprised on swing. But he is close to getting the balance right.

 

“It is very tough to find the right balance between speed and swing,” he says. “If you look at the fast bowlers all around the world, after a certain limit or pace, they also struggle to swing the ball. For me as well, it was difficult in the first series after adding a bit of pace to get my swing going. But I practiced hard, bowled in the nets, consulted with the coaching staff and got the balance going. And it has started to work for me.”

Bhuvneshwar missed out on the high-profile England Tests owing to a back injury. Even though he was disappointed not to play, Bhuvneshwar realises it is an occupational hazard.

“Missing the England series was disappointing, but I had almost a month to get back to full fitness with the rehab in NCA,” he says. “I would not say it was a difficult time, but it was a frustrating time, because as a player I would want to play. But we have to realise that injuries are part of life, and missing out on certain series is part of the game. I kept that in mind and did my rehab. I had a positive mindset and that helped me recover quicker.”

Bhuvneshwar last played Tests in South Africa in January this year, and in his absence, Jasprit Bumrah stepped up by claiming 14 wickets in three Tests against England after missing the first two. Last week, Umesh Yadav claimed 10 wickets in the Hyderabad Test versus West Indies to make the most of a rare opportunity with Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah rested, and Ishant Sharma nursing an injury.

For Bhuvneshwar, such competition is good for the Indian team.

“It is healthy competition,” he says. “We know that we all are different bowlers, and some of them for different formats. And we learn from the teammates and other as well. Off the field we are very close and it is all about learning. Everyone practices in a very similar way, we all have same support staff and facilities.”


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Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup

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Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.

Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.

 

While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.

“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.

“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.

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FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101

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London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.

Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.

Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.

 

GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019

The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.

Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.

2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.

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Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start

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Sao Paulo: A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.

Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.

Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paul.

 

The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.

If Brazil’s first-half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time.

“Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance.

“We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV.

“Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.” Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances
But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline.

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