Bhuvneshwar Kumar said he does not want to prioritise any of the three formats and is not averse to the idea of once again wearing the India whites in Test cricket in future.
Named vice-captain for the squad in Sri Lanka Bhuvneshwar’s absence in England was discussed by the commentators during the ICC World Test Championship final when his skillset would have come in handy for Virat Kohli’s side. But he’s not been part of red-ball cricket in recent times and his selection was a moot point for the ongoing tour.
“To be honest, there is no priority for me whether it’s red ball or white ball, if I am selected in red ball and I am part of any team, I will definitely try to contribute,” Bhuvneshwar said ahead of India’s white ball series against Sri Lanka that starts with ODIs on Sunday.
“I am not looking to prioritise white or red ball cricket. So working on preparing for all formats,” he added.
The next Test series after England is against New Zealand at home, followed by South Africa in an away series. Bhuvneshwar last played a Test for India on a tour of South Africa in 2018. India also host Sri Lanka and Australia at home next year and will play an away series in Bangladesh, all in the next 18 months.
“I am not looking way ahead, (certainly not 18-20 months) definitely. I will prepare myself for all three formats,” the swing bowler added.
Dravid’s uncomplicated approach
This team in Sri Lanka has six uncapped players and a lot of fringe stars who would have otherwise not got chances if the big guns were around. It’s only helping that Rahul Dravid is keeping them in a good head space.
Asked how it has been working with Dravid, Bhuvneshwar replied: “He keeps things simple. Everyone is listening to him. That’s been the case for the last month. We will get to learn more on strategic part in days to come.”
This team has some talented rookies like Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham and Bhuvneshwar feels that most of them with their IPL records have shown sound temperament.
“These are very talented and we have seen them in IPL. I don’t think they need much of a guidance. If you feel you need to talk about something, you go up and speak to them.
“We never tried to make anything complicated. We have Rahul Dravid with us who is guiding them really well. Being a senior member of this side, it is no rocket science that if need be, we can talk to them,” he said.
T20 World Cup draw
Arch-rivals India and Pakistan were on Friday placed in the same group for the T20 World Cup as the ICC announced the pools for its flagship event, set to be played in the UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
A clash between India and Pakistan is always a “high intensity” game but the team is not currently thinking about the T20 World Cup as there is a lot of cricket left before the marquee event, the pacer added.
“Look, it is always exciting to play against Pakistan and it is always a pressure match, so of course it is going to be, you know, a high intensity match,” Bhuvneshwar said.
“But to be honest we haven’t really thought about it, how it is going to be, because we have got a lot of cricket left, we have got matches in Sri Lanka, of course Test matches in England and then IPL and then World Cup.”
India and Pakistan are placed in Group 2 along with World Test Championship winners New Zealand and Afghanistan.
“But once of course the IPL gets over, we will start thinking about that (World Cup),” said the 31-year-old Meerut-born pacer.
The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in India but was moved out of the country due to an expected third wave of the coronavirus.
Asked if he is satisfied with his career and whether there are any regrets about not being a part of the team that is in England, he shot it down.
“I don’t think the team playing in England is ‘main team’ neither is this team ‘main’. Both are Indian teams. As far as I am concerned, injuries are a part and parcel and ups and downs are there but I am satisfied with my career. My endeavour is to contribute as much as possible for the Indian team,” he added.
The 30-year-old, who has 246 international wickets across 186 games, hasn’t made any changes to his bowling although he now understands the recovery process well.
(With PTI inputs)