Two new faces have been included in the squad for the T20 and ODI series to be played against Pakistan, which begins on Christmas day. They are Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed. Here is some information about the little known duo.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: An all-rounder fromUttar Pradesh, Kumar made his first-class debut against Bengal at Kolkata in December 2007. He made his List A debut against Rajasthan at Kanpur on February 2008. So far, he has played 46 first-class games and has scored 1848 runs with one hundred and 11 fifties. He averages 30.29 with a highest of 128. Further, with the right arm medium pace bowling he has the ability to move the ball both ways, and has claimed 149 wickets with eight five wicket hauls. His average is an excellent 26.02 with a match best of 9 for 103. In the IPL, the 22-year-old has been part of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors.
In the ongoing Ranji Trophy season, Kumar picked up nine wickets in the match against Karnataka held in November this year. Kumar grabbed 5 for 36 in the first innings and 4 for 67 in the second. He was in equally good form with the bat as well, contributing 36 in the first essay and 91 in the second as the game was drawn. Kumar has been consistent with bat and ball since, and has been rewarded with a call up to the Indian side.
Interestingly, Kumar was the first bowler to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar for a duck in Indian domestic cricket, during the 2008-09 season. He picked up a five-wicket haul during the Ranji Trophy final that season. Soon, he formed a formidable pace bowling combination with the more experienced R P Singh and Praveen Kumar, and will join their ranks, if he gets an opportunity to wear the blue jersey against Pakistan.
Shami Ahmed: The 22-year-old is a medium pacer from Bengal, who has been a consistent performer on the domestic circuit since making his first-class debut in November 2010. His List A debut came against Orissa in February 2011. In first-class games, Ahmed has so far picked up 65 wickets in 15 games. He already has three five-fors in an innings and two ten-wicket match hauls to his credit. His best figures in a match are 11 for 151, and he averages an impressive 24.67.
In the ongoing Ranji season, he picked up 11 wickets in the game against Madhya Pradesh in November and 10 wickets in the clash against Hyderabad a few days ago, which accelerated his entry into the Indian limited overs squad for the Pakistan series. In 2011, Ahmed had been signed on by Kolkata Knight Riders.
--By A Cricket Analyst