Vinay Kumar- leading Indian domestic seamer- what went wrong?
Vinay Kumar has been one of India's best (possibly India's single best) seam-up bowler in the domestic scene. It's not a single season, but over sixty FC games spanning both state and zone sides, with prolific figures. Hardly a poor bowler, in comparison to every other bowler picked ahead of him outside of Zaheer-Ishant-Praveen, and he may even give Ishant a run for his money. He's also one of the most useful bowlers when not with the ball- and is a lot fitter than younger Indian bowlers. In fact, given the Indians' attempts to play Joginder Sharma and Jadeja as all-rounders, his domestic stats (fair, no hundreds, but he's got plenty of wickets) over the last three years would propel him into the race.
Yet, he's been stereotyped as a poor bowler, especially now, due to a horror Test at Perth, and in danger of losing his place to unproven rookies and one-season wonders. The reverse of what's wrong with struggling faster bowlers (pace isn't everything) comes up here, that pace is a must. Worse still, South Zone stereotypes are being invoked, with him as an example. Jokes fly left, right and centre, and Cricinfo hosted a sadistic article.
What do you think went wrong? Fair, lack of pace is a serious weakness on a flat pitch against a fiercely aggressive batsman, but it's not every day he'll have to face it- and he can work on it in time. The BCCI can surely help slower bowlers who bowl well add some pace, so that they can become productive bowlers for India. We find bowlers picked on age and hint of pace, struggle when they play for India- and haven't proven themselves even for their states. He's one bowler who's consistently got wickets, at least in domestic events, so he should be in the running. Not some injury-prone 22-year-olds.
What can he do? If he plays in leagues abroad, he will be aware of what's needed to succeed in those countries. With several Indian pacers prone to injury, he's got a chance to play more for India. Better still, since the team gave Yuvraj and Jadeja plenty of chances till they eventually came good, Vinay could do with a run that long.
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Twenty20 used to be boring.