Former India and Karnataka seamer Vinay Kumar recently embarked on a new chapter in his life as he called it quits from a near two-decade-old cricket career.
Kumar may not have represented India in just 31 ODIs, 1 Test, and 9 T20Is but given the way his career panned out in domestic cricket where he claimed as many as 504 FC wickets in 139 games for Karnataka- the most by any seamer in the history of Ranji Trophy- he is very much satisfied with what he went on to achieve during his career.
“I am really happy with the way my career shaped up. Maybe I could have played more international matches, definitely with the red ball. I didn’t get many chances to play for India in Test cricket but I did play long for Karnataka in red-ball cricket. I don’t have any regrets.” said Vinay Kumar in an exclusive interview with IANS.
Kumar further added that he loved taking up challenges and for him, breaking a long partnership was as good as taking a five-wicket haul.
“I always used to take challenges and I was always very happy if I would come and break a partnership. It was like taking a five-wicket haul. Those kind of small, small challenges, breaking a partnership on a flat wicket, I always used to enjoy. Be it batting at the end or batting with the tail-enders or brilliant catches.” Vinay Kumar added.
There are so many legends who might have gone wrong in their first match: Vinay Kumar on his forgettable Test debut
Vinay Kumar also opened up on his forgettable Test debut against Australia in Perth during India’s disastrous tour Down Under in the winter of 2011/12.
Kumar endured a rude awakening as a belligerent David Warner smashed him to all corners of the WACA during his awe-inspiring 180. Kumar, who returned with figures of 1/73 in just 13 overs, said that he was unlucky that he was playing as a fourth seamer in the team.
He added that as a fourth seamer, his main job was to keep it tight and bowl defensive lines. He reckoned that he could have been much more effective had he played as one of the first-choice seamers.
He further added that he was much more effective in the tri-nation series that followed after the Tests. Vinay Kumar player six ODIs during the tri-series involving hosts Australia and Sri Lanka and he emerged as India’s leading wicket-taker- 9 wickets at an average of 32.11.
“I never thought my pace was less. People need to understand that I played as a fourth seamer in my first Test. I was kind of limited by my role that I was playing as the fourth bowler. And my role was to come and keep it tight,” he said.
“If I would have played as a second or a third seamer then the thinking process would have been different. Ishant, Umesh and Zaheer Khan were there. I kind of thought I am the fourth bowler and need to keep it this way. The best example of my pace came immediately in the ODIs after the Tests. They went so well. I was the same bowler, the same tour. I bowled at a good pace, good bouncers. People don’t understand. There are so many legends of the game. Most of them might have gone wrong in their first match,” Vinay Kumar added.
Vinay Kumar was a part of a historic treble that Karanataka achieved in consecutive seasons in 2013 and 2014 besides being a two-time IPL-winner with KKR and MI. And the Karnataka pacer is satisfied with whatever success that has come his way.
”At the end of the day, that is life. Whatever opportunity I got — one-dayers, Ranji Trophy, IPL — I was happy that I gave my best,” he signed off.