Out of the six questions that Bhuvneshwar Kumar had to field in his first media interaction after recovering from sports hernia injury, three were on the coronavirus outbreak and precautions taken by Indian players, both on and off the field. This was not surprising considering that 52 positive cases have been reported so far in the country and the general sense of panic it has instilled on the general public.
Bhuvneshwar, though, took on these questions with a refreshing sense of poise.
First-up, he was asked whether Indian bowlers would limit the use of saliva on the ball in the first ODI against South Africa in Dharamsala. The 30-year-old admitted that a decision in this regard would only be taken after consultation with the team doctors later in the day.
“Look, we have thought about this issue (of not using saliva) but I can’t comment right now because if we don’t use saliva and if the ball doesn’t swing, then we will get hit and you guys will say that India are not bowling well,” he said, before adding: “But it’s a valid point and everything depends on the team meeting that we are scheduled to have today with the doctors. We will just follow their instructions.”
Bhuvi was then asked whether the virus fears would limit the Indian team’s interactions with their fans. “There are a few dos and don’ts that have been prescribed to us… things like maintaining our personal hygiene and washing our hands regularly. But we cannot stay away from our fans because they love and support us, so these things are unavoidable. Having said that, we will still try to maintain our distance by wearing masks during our interactions with them and while signing autographs,” the pacer explained.
However, on the field, when the two captains walk out for the toss on Thursday, Virat Kohli and his South African counterpart Quinton de Kock are unlikely to shake hands.
Finally, the Meerut lad refused to get drawn into speculations surrounding the cancellation of the upcoming Indian Premier League. “I really don’t want to comment on such things right now. It’s a pretty dangerous situation in India, but at this moment, all I can say is that we hope this doesn’t spread any further,” he concluded.
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