Having spent significant time away from international cricket, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will now be aiming to keep himself injury-free and produce consistent performances considering the big-ticket ICC events on the horizon. His immediate goal will be to make the cut in the ICC T20 World Cup squad set to be played later this year in UAE and who else to put him in the right mindset other than the legendary Rahul Dravid, who, for the first time, will be coaching the senior Indian squad after highly successful stints with the junior and A teams before.
Part of a limited-overs India squad that is currently in Sri Lanka and gearing up for a six white-ball matches against the hosts, Bhuvneshwar isn’t just there in the capacity of a pacer. He has also been appointed as the vice-captain and thus, has an additional responsibility - to guide the host of youngsters who are in the touring party.
But that role is something Bhuvneshwar is familiar with considering his wealth of experience which he has in the past tapped into to help others around him.
“Yes, on paper, it is my role (vice-captain), but I don’t think things will change," Bhuvneshwar said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected. “I think being a senior player my role is to do things that help other players in improving their skills and mental health. Being the vice-captain of Team India is an honour and a responsibility. So, I will try to continue doing the things that I have been doing and hope our team does well on this tour."
The 31-year-old has played 21 Tests, 117 ODIs and 48 T20Is so far. And in his efforts to keep on adding to those appearances, he will have some help in Dravid with whom, Bhvuneshwar admits, he has not many memories even though they have competed against each other in the past.
“I have played against him (Dravid) and he was a part of the RCB team just when I got inducted into the team. So I don’t have any such memories with him, but when I got to the NCA, we did had some chats," Bhuvneshwar said.
He continued, “I wanted to work with him and I am lucky that he is the coach. The young players have played under him for India A. So we want to work under him and pick his brain and want to understand how he manages things at that level for such a long time."