Bhuvneshwar Kumar attributed his return to the Indian team as a key pacer to the skills he perfected while bowling the death overs in the Indian Premier League. After spending some seasons in relative oblivion, Kumar emerged the highest wicket-taker in the IPL 2016, where he finished with 23 wickets bowling for the champion Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“The IPL has helped me bowling in death, even though I had played for the country before the IPL had happened. When at Sunrisers, I had to bowl a lot at the death and I am bringing that mindset into international cricket,” Kumar said on the eve of India’s concluding engagement of the ODI series, on Saturday.
Reflecting on his comeback after injury lay-off in Cuttack, Kumar said there is nervousness initially which gets over after bowling two or three overs. “There is a bit of nervousness when you are playing after a long time. There is no practice like match practice and whatever I did at the nets thinking it would be a simulation of the match is not adequate. So, it takes the first two-three overs to get over the nervousness,” Kumar got the crucial wicket of Moeen Ali in the 44th over when England needed 83 runs from 39 balls with the former forging a good partnership with his captain Eoin Morgan.
Kumar felt the said the challenge for a bowler in the present conditions is to stay motivated and deliver when it is quite normal for a team to score around 350 in the ODIs. “We are getting used to this as 350 is a par score nowadays. We plan our practice and team meetings keeping that in mind. We have come from an era where 250-300 was the par score and now even 350 is not safe,” he said. “So, it is not easy to be a bowler especially in the death and especially with things such as bowling yorkers with a wet ball. But those are the things we concentrate on during practice,” Kumar added.
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