May 16, 2019 / 5:44 AM / 10 days ago

Cricket: Rivals wary of India's all-surface attack, says Bhuvneshwar Kumar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Batting has traditionally been India’s strength but their World Cup rivals will also be wary of their all-surface pace attack, swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has said.

Cricket - India Nets - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 2, 2018 India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar during nets. Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes/Files

The 29-year-old is a key member of the twice world champions’ three-pronged pace attack, which also includes Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.

Kumar’s ability to move the ball offsets his lack of pace and like any other swing bowler, he is looking forward to making the most of the English conditions that encourage his craft.

“I agree that pitches in England in the last few years have been flat, but teams will be wary of India’s bowling unit since we can be potent both at the start and at the death,” he told the Times of India newspaper.

“It will all boil down to how we execute the plans on the given day.”

A fitter Shami has emerged as a strike bowler while Bumrah is currently the top ranked ODI bowler famed for his yorkers and death-overs mastery.

Pundits believe skipper Virat Kohli is blessed to have at his disposal arguably the best ever Indian pace attack but Kumar is keener to talk about their versatility.

“I don’t want to comment on whether we are the best or not because our performance in the field is what will define our attack,” said the bowler from Meerut, a north Indian town known for its sports goods industry.

“Our performances over the last few years speak for us. The Indian bowling attack has grown from strength to strength.

“Today we can say that our pace attack can make an impact on any surface.”

Kumar pointed to his own improvement as a bowler since playing his first World Cup four years ago.

“There has definitely been an improvement in my bowling in terms of pace and variations like the slower ball and knuckle-ball.

“To add to that, I have improved fitness-wise.”

The 1983 and 2011 champions begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Southampton on June 5.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Nick Mulvenney

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