Bhuvi: ‘It wasn’t a big total to defend but nobody was upset’

The bowling all-rounder picked up three wickets after scoring a handy 20 to help India successfully defend a modest total against Australia in the second ODI at the Eden Gardens.

Bhuvneshwar celebrates the wicket of Australian batsman David Warner at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.   -  AP

 

“I know the areas where David Warner lacks and even he knows my strengths and weaknesses. IPL makes every player aware of each other’s features, but it is all about executing your plans,” said Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who claimed three wickets to help India beat Australia by 50 runs in the second ODI at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.

Kumar took 37 balls (6.1 overs) to unsettle the Aussies. He removed the dangerous Warner (his IPL team-mate), Hilton Cartwright and Kane Richardson lower down the order.

“I generally bowl outswingers to Warner. I knew I could get him out that way,” said Kumar, who trained hard to gain pace in the recent years to become India’s bowling mainstay. “Everyone is a premier fast bowler today and they all want to do well. The workload is definitely there, but we take better care of ourselves these days; thanks to our trainer, Shankar Basu,” he added.

“It wasn’t a big total to defend in modern day cricket but if you have to win, you need to take wickets. Nobody was upset that we were restricted by the Aussies. Wickets in the middle overs always leads to opportunities.”

The 27-year-old agreed that he used to rely on conditions (to emerge as a wicket-taking bowler) in the initial phase of his career. “I realised I needed to be faster, but I didn’t know how to do it. People asked me to train and gradually, the process helped me become a better death bowler too,” Kumar revealed.

When Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were batting, the projected score was close to 300. But India was all out for 252. “It wasn’t a big total to defend in modern day cricket but if you have to win, you need to take wickets. Nobody was upset that we were restricted by the Aussies. Wickets in the middle overs always leads to opportunities,” he shared his insights.

Of late, Kumar is also proving to be a steady batsman for the team. He scored his first half-century and added 100 runs (for the eighth wicket) with M.S. Dhoni in an ODI against Sri Lanka recently.

After scoring an unbeaten 32 in the first ODI against Australia in Chennai, the right-hander contributed a handy 20 in today’s game as well. Is he nurturing his batting abilities? “That was a natural talent. I knew I could bat, especially in Tests. But it is different in ODI cricket. You need to hit the ball and I don’t have that ability. The innings in Sri Lanka gave me confidence. It made me realise that I can contribute in limited-overs cricket too.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar Press meet

 

He follows a simple mantra. “I think of playing at least 10 to 15 overs and form a partnership with others.” If he does, India will be batting really really late.

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