IPL 10

IPL 2017: Bhuvneshwar Kumar is showing just how deadly the intelligent bowler can be in T20 cricket

Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away just 19 runs in his four overs against Kings XI Punjab on Monday, and was the cheapest of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling squadron.

There is a huge similarity that Bhuvneshwar Kumar shares between his 2016 and 2017 IPL seasons. That he has established his hold as the top wicket-keeper in the IPL bowlers’ leader-board putting the Sunrisers Hyderabad on a comfortable perch beyond the reach of all other teams in the arena of expertise.

However, as the 2017 season takes further shape, a couple of key differences in Kumar’s performances between this year and the last have also started to emerge.

The Meerut native finished the 2016 season with 23 wickets in 17 matches, as the Sunrisers rode their way right up to the champions corner. This year, he has substantially bettered himself in picking 15 wickets already, even as the IPL is still a few games short of the halfway mark. More importantly, in picking these 15 wickets – and this is probably the biggest differentiator between Kumar’s 2016 and 2017 seasons – he has also come to be the team’s most economical bowler.

In the five matches that he has played for the Sunrisers so far, including his man-of-the-match winning heroics in their five-run thriller victory over Kings XI Punjab on Monday, Kumar has an economy of just 5.4 runs. This is a telling statistic in all these years that he has been a part of the IPL fraternity, starting with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Even when compared to his 2016 season where his economy rate was hovering around 7.4 runs.

Enabling Kumar’s economical run has been his ability to get read the batsmen. Unlike several of his bowling counterparts, who prefer to test out the batsmen with a couple of their initial deliveries before drawing them out, Kumar’s subtle variations makes the batsman continually second guess his strategy. In doing so, he is essentially making it difficult for the batsmen to pre-meditate against him.

Likewise, while he runs through the range of available arsenal at his disposal, Kumar has also been astute enough to never get his bowling fall into a pattern of predictability. Thus, this forces the batsmen, who are already on the backfoot around him, to play him out even more cautiously.

Standing tall among spinners’ bamboozling

Interestingly, what has made Kumar a stand-out each time that he has taken over the ball – especially while the Sunrisers host matches in Hyderabad – is that his performances are a contradiction to the premise of spinners doing well at the venue.

Rashid Khan, the Sunrisers’ 18-year-old spin prodigy from Afghanistan has then been maintaining the validity of this adage as he has prospered from the other end. But, as seen in their victory run against Punjab, while Manan Vohra had no troubles in reading through Khan’s deliveries, baffling and stifling the bowler for the first time in the tournament, Vohra had problems aplenty once Warner turned to Kumar, and brought back into the attack in the death overs.

Given the way, Vohra was batting, Kumar’s introduction could have also proved to be costly for Warner and the rest of the team. Yet, it was in those pressure-filled moments that Kumar brought out his best that pivotally changed the course of the match, even when Shikhar Dhawan dropped Vohra in Kumar’s penultimate over and it looked like the match had ended for the hosts.

It’s also then fitting that Kumar kept his team abreast in their bid for their title defence on a day when the home team lost an important toss and were put to field second on a pitch where successful run-chases are the norm. Glenn Maxwell would have had spared a thought for this vital trivia before making his decision after having won the toss. But, for the Sunrisers, coached by Tom Moody, their depth in bowling has had never given them a reason to worry. And, going further along, thanks to Kumar’s 5/19 in his four overs, this status quo shall be maintained.

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Young Indians now like their traditional food with a twist

Indian food with international influences is here to stay.

With twenty-nine states and over 50 ethnic groups, India’s diversity is mind-boggling to most foreigners. This diversity manifests itself across areas from clothing to art and especially to food. With globalisation, growth of international travel and availability of international ingredients, the culinary diversity of India has become progressively richer.

New trends in food are continuously introduced to the Indian palate and are mainly driven by the demands of generation Y. Take the example of schezwan idlis and dosas. These traditional South Indian snacks have been completely transformed by simply adding schezwan sauce to them – creating a dish that is distinctly Indian, but with an international twist. We also have the traditional thepla transformed into thepla tacos – combining the culinary flavours of India and Mexico! And cous cous and quinoa upma – where niche global ingredients are being used to recreate a beloved local dish. Millennials want a true fusion of foreign flavours and ingredients with Indian dishes to create something both Indian and international.

So, what is driving these changes? Is it just the growing need for versatility in the culinary experiences of millennials? Or is it greater exposure to varied cultures and their food habits? It’s a mix of both. Research points to the rising trend to seek out new cuisines that are not only healthy, but are also different and inspired by international flavours.

The global food trend of ‘deconstruction’ where a food item is broken down into its component flavours and then reconstructed using completely different ingredients is also catching on for Indian food. Restaurants like Masala Library (Mumbai), Farzi Café (Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru) and Pink Poppadum (Bengaluru) are pushing the boundaries of what traditional Indian food means. Things like a kulcha pizza, dal chaawal cutlet and chutney foam are no longer inconceivable. Food outlets that stock exotic ingredients and brands that sell traditional Indian packaged snacks in entirely new flavours are also becoming more common across cities.

When it comes to the flavours themselves, some have been embraced more than others. Schezwan sauce, as we’ve mentioned, is now so popular that it is sometimes even served with traditional chakna at Indian bars. Our fascination with the spicy red sauce is however slowly being challenged by other flavours. Wasabi introduced to Indian foodies in Japanese restaurants has become a hit among spice loving Indians with its unique kick. Peri Peri, known both for its heat and tanginess, on the other hand was popularised by the famous UK chain Nandos. And finally, there is the barbeque flavour – the condiment has been a big part of India’s love for American fast food.

Another Indian snack that has been infused with international flavours is the beloved aloo bhujia. While the traditional gram-flour bhujia was first produced in 1877 in the princely state of Bikaner in Rajasthan, aloo bhujia came into existence once manufacturers started experimenting with different flavours. Future Consumer Limited’s leading food brand Tasty Treat continues to experiment with the standard aloo bhujia to cater to the evolving consumer tastes. Keeping the popularity of international flavours in mind, Tasty Treat’s has come up with a range of Firangi Bhujia, an infusion of traditional aloo bhujia with four of the most craved international flavours – Wasabi, Peri Peri, Barbeque and Schezwan.

Tasty Treat’s range of Firangi Bhujia has increased the versatility of the traditional aloo bhujia. Many foodies are already trying out different ways to use it as a condiment to give their favourite dish an extra kick. Archana’s Kitchen recommends pairing the schezwan flavoured Firangi Bhujia with manchow soup to add some crunch. Kalyan Karmakar sprinkled the peri peri flavoured Firangi Bhujia over freshly made poha to give a unique taste to a regular breakfast item. Many others have picked a favourite amongst the four flavours, some admiring the smoky flavour of barbeque Firangi Bhujia and some enjoying the fiery taste of the peri peri flavour.

Be it the kick of wasabi in the crunch of bhujia, a bhujia sandwich with peri peri zing, maska pav spiced with schezwan bhujia or barbeque bhujia with a refreshing cold beverage - the new range of Firangi Bhujia manages to balance the novelty of exotic flavours with the familiarity of tradition. To try out Tasty Treat’s Firangi Bhujia, find a store near you.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Tasty Treat and not by the Scroll editorial team.