India skipper Virat Kohli on Monday showered profuse praise on pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar saying he would be a vital part of the teams plans, especially on overseas tours.
Kumar finished with a eight wicket haul (4/88 and 4/8) to grab the Player of the Match award in the opening Test against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens here.
The Uttar Pradesh player's brilliant bowling in the second innings brought India tantalisingly close to a splendid victory on the final day on Monday.
With the islanders reeling at 75 for seven, the umpires called off the match due to poor light conditions.
"He's a massive contender to start in every Test for India, he'll be a vital part of our plans, especially overseas, " Kohli said after the match.
Kohli's comments assume more significance in view of his team's forthcoming trip to South Africa.
Many have dubbed the series in January - February next year as the real test of the Indian team.
Kohli said Kumar was now bowling with more pace.
"His bowling has picked up pace, his ball is heavier than what it used to be.
He grabs his chances every time he comes into the team, " he said.