Praveen Kumar’s third dimension

One of Test cricket’s greatest strengths over the other formats is how you get to know the players better. We’d seen a great deal of Praveen Kumar before this series, but had no particular opinion about him. This has changed in the last few weeks.

First came the revelation that he didn’t have as wide an array of slower balls as we thought, he was actually just a medium-pacer. This made us happy, because it brought diversity to Test cricket.

Since then, we’ve seen his depth of character. What can you learn about someone in four overs of Twenty20? Very little. What can you learn in 158.3 overs of slog in a Test series? A hell of a lot. It is not a never-say-die attitude that he has, it is almost beyond that. Even when his team is in a position as crappy as his team mates’ fielding, Kumar gives his all.

Then there is his batting.

Praveen Kumar’s batting is simply ludicrous and is another reason why Tests are better than Twenty20s. Bowlers rarely get to the crease in Twenty20 anyway, but even if they do, they have to try and bat like Kumar does, so it’s unremarkable. In a Test match, his unique approach seems like a compulsion that has come about after being subjected to pissed-up neurosurgery. It’s amazingly entertaining, not least for the batsman himself, who spends half his team laughing even when his fingers are being mangled beyond recognition by the few deliveries he fails to pitch into the stands.

In a losing series, Kumar’s bowling figures stand up to scrutiny, but we fear there are few places in the world as well-suited to his style of bowling as England. It would be a shame if he didn’t survive in Test cricket. It really would.

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9 Appeals

  1. It’s amazingly entertaining, not least for the batsman himself, who spends half his team laughing even when his fingers are being mangled beyond recognition by the few deliveries he fails to pitch into the stands.

    It’s 2am here and I enjoyed that sentence.

  2. Player of the series, if not the summer, the reasons have been summed up well in your post.

  3. I was saying during the last test that he’s pretty much India’s man of the series. Sadly for them, he’s not had much competition. That sounds like a back-handed compliment, but he’s been really good. Just hope he manages to steer clear of the danger area. Wouldn’t do to have a repeat of him being red-carded again, like in the Windies.

  4. PK is just a damn man.

    He is every cricketer who finds himself in a team (and against an opposition) where everyone is miles more naturally talented than he is, and he bluffs his way through on strength of character and bloodymindedness.

    I hope to hell he becomes a regular feature.

  5. Sometimes there’s a man…I won’t say a hero, ‘cos what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man.

  6. Indeedly.

  7. He’s got an average for the series of 30, which is alright I suppose, and 15 wickets in five innings, which is alright I suppose. Notably he has an economy rate of 2.8 runs per over, which is damned decent.

    However, all of the above (and in fact everything you watch of him as well) is massively affected by how rubbish his bowling friends are. The next best average is 50. This means that the English batsmen can safely ignore Kumar. They don’t have to score off him (hence his econ rate), but they don’t have to take risks with him either (hence his middling average and few wickets).

    In short, who knows? I would have liked to see him in the middle of a decent attack, when batsmen needed to get after him a bit. I suspect he would have done quite well.

    Batting – awesome, but after 40 in 18 he will forever disappoint.

  8. He wasn’t considered by many to be good enough to get into the test side till April this year. Now he is the only one who can take some pride in his performance on this tour.

  9. Its opinions like this that keep me coming back for adverts for CricketStatz 8, and energy companies that are not npower.

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