The resurgence of Vinay Kumar
Vinay Kumar is one among the rare breed of pace bowlers who prefer to outwit and outthink batsmen rather than rely purely on pace.
Finishing IPL 6 with 23 wickets from 16 matches, he was Royal Challengers Bangalore’s highest wicket taker in the tournament for the second season running. The achievement would have brought solace to Vinay who made a forgettable Test debut in January 2012 and whose comeback bid to the national side in June 2012 was foiled by an injury.
His medium pace was targeted by David Warner on his debut and he returned with figures of 1/73 off 14 overs in India’s 37 run innings defeat at Perth, his only consolation being the wicket of Michael Hussey. The Karnataka lad was dropped from both the Test team and the limited overs squads soon after that game.
But cricket is an amazing game and has its own way of producing the unpredictable and soon Vinay was offered a $1 million contract by RCB in the 2012 player auctions.
He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and had an exceptional tournament, picking up 19 wickets and was named in the squad for the ODIs against Sri Lanka after the IPL. But a hamstring injury meant he missed the series and was replaced by Irfan Pathan who was preferred since then.
Then followed India A’s tour of New Zealand in which Vinay looked on course to regain form, fitness and a place in the national squad. He had a good run in the 2 match test series, picking up 7 wickets at an average of 27.85.
Vinay was then named skipper for Karnataka’s 2012 Ranji Trophy squad and led his side to the quarter finals, picking up 17 wickets at an average of 23.23 in the campaign.
He missed the ODIs against England but showed his worth in IPL 6, bowling smart to finish with respectable figures on the batting friendly M Chinnaswamy track.
Not a fast bowler in the classic mould, Vinay takes the rigidity of a workman, bowling tight lines and mixing it with swing and variations in pace for surprises.
The great showing in the recent IPL has earned Vinay Kumar a call up to the Indian ODI squad for the Champions Trophy in England where he will battle it out with Ishant Sharma and Irfan Pathan for the third medium pacer’s slot.
So here is hoping the ‘Davanagare Express’, as he is fondly called, does continue his good IPL form for India in the Champions Trophy and establishes himself as a Team India regular!
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