The day David Warner got stuck into him on his Test debut, at the WACA ground, R Vinay Kumar was badly ridiculed. Some said he was as quick as Sourav Ganguly, others compared his pace to Anil Kumble. Warner felt he was one of the courses of a buffet, and dealt with him accordingly. Vinay's fourth ball in Test cricket was hit for a straight six, and another six off his bowling brought up the fastest century by an opener in Test cricket. The social media, a bit of an online pub representative of cricket fans' opinions, had found another Indian player they wanted to retire.
There is another side to Vinay, though. Inconspicuously he does his stuff in limited-overs cricket. And he also had the spirit to come back from that nightmare debut, and do well on the same tour. This is what Eric Simons, his bowling coach, has to say of him: "Vinay Kumar is one of the hardest-working cricketers I have worked with. You get guys with natural skill, you get guys who just do it through really hard work. He is one of those guys.
"He has got a lot of skill, but he has got a great work ethic, and he has embraced that really tremendously in the sense of going out and doing the work he does. He is always doing his drills. You always see him working. He wants to grow as a cricketer. He wants to improve his batting, he wants to improve his fielding. He is just getting the rewards for his hard work."
That kind of Test debut can crush many. Simons talked of how coaches can look a player in the eye and see if he is up for the next match or not. Vinay has been up for it despite that debut, he was up for it even on the second day of his debut Test. That Vinay has been bowling is reward enough, that he is the joint leading wicket-taker in the tournament after the first half of it is over, that he is taking a wicket every four overs, that he has been an exceptional outfielder are all a bonus and a big part of the reason why India sit at the top of the table.
"For me I don't think about...