It is still early days but the coach who taught Bhuvneshwar Kumar the basics of cricket, says the talented India seamer could soon prove to be a cricketer of an ilk, who epitomises the value of a true all-rounder.
“His domestic records say it all. He is a genuine all-rounder and used to open the inning for our academy team. Now he has world class coaches with him and Venkatesh Prasad is the coach of UP team, so they can transform him into a good all-rounder,” Rastogi said.
Bhuvneshwar had a dream debut in the first Twenty20 match against Pakistan as he claimed three wickets for just nine runs. That he gave away less runs made it even more special.
India, though, lost the match by five wickets, prompting the distraught 22-year-old to seek solace in Rastogi’s comforting words.
“He was very disappointed that India could not win that match. I told him to concentrate on the second match and I am sure he will do even better on Friday,” the Meerut-based coach said on the eve of the second T20 against the arch-rivals.
When asked about Bhuvneshwar’s inspiration, Rastogi said that he has learnt a lot from Praveen Kumar, who is also from Meerut, and former India skipper Sourav Ganguly while playing in the IPL for Pune Warriors.
“Praveen is also from Meerut and plays on the same ground. Bhuvi learnt a lot from him. Ganguly taught him how to handle pressure,” said Rastogi.
Asked about his pupil’s strength, Rastogi said that he swings the ball naturally and that too both ways.
“When he came to us with his elder sister Rekha, he was only 13. We saw his bowling and realised that he is special. His in-swing was natural and he can swing the ball both ways.
“His dedication and determination are his assets. He worked very hard to reach so far. He took five wickets in his under-15 debut. His best quality is that he does not get affected with the reputation of opponent and we have witnessed that in the first T20.”