India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who hasn’t featured in a Test match since January 2018, is not ready to prioritise one format over another.
Although his exclusion from the red-ball series against England has raised question marks over his future in the longer format, Kumar, now in Sri Lanka with the limited-overs team, believes he can ‘contribute in any format’.
“I am not looking to prioritise white-ball or red-ball cricket. I am working on preparing for all formats,” Kumar, vice-captain of the side in the island nation, said on Friday.
“(If) I am selected in red-ball team, I will definitely try to contribute.”
With the IPL and the T20 World Cup lined up later this year, there are not too many Tests too look forward to, but Kumar is not thinking much about that. “I am not looking way ahead. I will prepare myself for all three formats,” he said.
India is scheduled to play New Zealand at home, followed by South Africa in an away series.
Asked if he regrets not being part of the ‘main team’, which is currently in England, Kumar said: “I don’t think the team playing in England is ‘main team’ neither is this team ‘main’. Both are Indian teams. My endeavour is to contribute as much as possible for the Indian team,” the 30-year-old said.
Over the last few years, Kumar’s career has been plagued by injuries. The 30-year-old with 246 international wickets across 186 games, however, hasn’t made any changes to his bowling approach. He says he understands the recovery process well now.
“As far as I am concerned, injuries are a part and parcel. Ups and downs are there but I am satisfied with my career. The only thing I have worked on is how to get over those injuries quickly. There has not been anything in particular that I have changed. There have been a few things like the workload and how to recover quickly. There has not been any particular changes in my training,” he said.
The team, which is currently in Sri Lanka, features six uncapped players and a lot of fringe stars. But Kumar said that the presence of head coach Rahul Dravid is helping the team.
“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 the strategic part in days to come,” he said.
Asked if he has shared any advice with the youngsters, Kumar said: “These are very talented young guys. You have seen in the IPL they have done well for their respective teams and have earned spots in the Indian team. They don’t need much guidance.”
“You just go and talk to them, so we never try to make things complicated. Rahul Dravid is guiding them pretty well. Being a senior guy, if you feel there is something, you just talk to them, there is no rocket science.”