Star Wars: Bhuvneshwar v McCullum

Bhuvneshwar, if the conditions assist him, will swing the ball during Powerplay. And, McCullum takes time to settle. So, the former holds the edge. But with Baz, you never know.

Did you know Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled the most number of dot balls in the last IPL?

Did you know Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been among the top-5 in each of the last three seasons for bowling the most number of dots?

Did you know he was the leading wicket-taker last season?

It’s okay if you didn’t. Bhuvneshwar isn’t a bowler, who’s instantly noticeable. He isn’t fiercely quick as Mitchell Johnson; he doesn’t dance like Dwayne Bravo. He’s less flamboyant, more functional. Except for the occasional leaps and fist-pumps during wicket-celebrations, he appears serious, stoic. With his poker face, he deceives batsmen.

"What happens these days in cricket is that, watching the way you set the field, the batsman knows what you are going to bowl,” he said during the last season, “But as we play more and understand opponents better, we try to bowl against the field that we have set, but not to the extent that it backfires. What we try to do is to be able to bluff the batsman, stop the runs, and get the batsman out."

To do this, to be accurate is necessary, and he is. In Sunrisers Hyderabad’s last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, on a pitch that wasn’t especially fast or bouncy, he bowled zero short balls.

Brendon McCullum began well in Gujarat Lions’s last game against Kolkata Knight Riders, taking on its spinners. Before Baz could be on full blast, Kuldeep Yadav snared him with a straight one.

Bhuvneshwar, if the conditions assist him, will swing the ball during Powerplay. And, McCullum takes time to settle. So, the former holds the edge. But with Baz, you never know.