While the Indian cricket team showed the great performances on their recently concluded tour in South Africa, everyone is praising the Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s bowling performances which became a big factor on this tour. Bhuvneshwar won the Player of the Series award at the end of the three-match T20I series where he picked up seven wickets. After winning the T20I series, the right-arm pacer spoke out about his bowling and team’s performances.
Talking about his bowling improvement, Bhuvneshwar Kumar credited to the Indian Premier League (IPL). He said, “It’s all about how you prepare yourself before every series. IPL has made Indian bowlers thinking bowlers. It’s important not to give away too many runs in the powerplay. You had to keep it simple and of course slower balls and knuckle balls were there. You hardly get wickets like these in India.”
Talking about the team, the right-arm pacer said that he is very happy with the team’s performances. He said, “We don’t want to be too greedy and we are happy with these two trophies. Hopefully next time we will win all the three trophies. This tour has been brilliant, particularly talking about Test series. Yes, we lost two matches, but they were very close. We could have also lost 3-0 or won 2-1 instead. But it gives us confidence in whatever way we have played, and we are ready to go to England and Australia and do better there,”
In this South Africa tour, India had lost the three-match Test series at first by the 2-1 margin but then they made a superb comeback by winning the both limited over series back-to-back (by 1-5 in ODI series and by 1-2 in T20I series).
Also read: Indian squad for the Nidahas Trophy 2018
Talking about the success in T20 cricket, Bhuvneshwar pointed out the variations and timings. He commented on that, “T20 cricket is all about using variations and timing has to be perfect. Whatever knuckleball I have bowled, I wanted batsmen to go after that. That way you can get wickets and that’s one of the main reasons why I have been successful in power plays.”
Bhuvneshwar also briefly described the toughness of the bowlers in T20 cricket. He stated, “T20 is such a format that finishes quickly and you only have four overs. If there are three bad balls in one over you will go for runs and your whole analysis suffers. The team is on the back foot because of three balls. So each and every ball becomes very important. It makes the bowler think. Every ball has to be proper and you have to execute the plan properly.”
Talking the differences in different formats of cricket, the 28-years old Indian pacer said, “In Test matches, you don’t have to do something different as compared to ODIs or T20 cricket. It’s not much variation but it’s about line and length. When you come to one-day cricket you look for yorkers and slower ones. It is never easy to switch between formats but it is all about practice and preparation. You need 2-3 overs to adjust when you play but when it comes to T20s, you have to be proactive and you cannot react after what the batsman does.”
Bhuvneshwar thinks that the powerplay is an important factor in the limited-overs cricket but that is not the only factor to win the matches. He said, “Power plays are very important in both formats, but you cannot win matches based on power plays alone. If any team is down 4-5 wickets in the power plays but you still end up giving too many runs in the end, then you cannot win. Power play is an important factor to win matches but you have to contain the runs in middle overs and you have to do brilliantly in the death overs.”
Bhuvneshwar is now gradually becoming the leading bowler for the Indian team. However, he doesn’t think himself as a leader of the bowling department. He quoted, “When bowling, I don’t think I am the leader. Instead whenever anyone is bowling in this team, he thinks he is the leader. Then only we can win matches. Individually, you need to have a brilliant day to take 10 wickets on your own. Mostly you can take only 4-5 wickets. So it’s about partnerships and hunting in the pack. That’s what cricket is about whether batting or bowling.”
Talking about his omission from the second Test in this tour, despite performing superbly in the first Test, Bhuvneshwar said, “I don’t know about that (not playing in the second Test at Centurion). I don’t want to go back to the Tests, or why I didn’t play. It’s all about team effort. If you talk about that match, there were bowlers who could bowl brilliantly in those conditions.”
Speaking about the new talents in the South African team, the right-arm pacer expressed his view by quoting, “Heinrich Klaasen is an amazing player given the way he batted in the last two matches and in the ODIs also. They are very good players. When you play against new players, you don’t know what their strengths are, especially Christiaan Jonker, we didn’t know what he does. It is never easy to play first match against any player. They are new players but I think we bowled well to get them out.”
Bhuvneshwar also said that they want to win the Test series on the South African soil when they will come in the next time. Talking about that, he said, “Of course, we want to win the Test series (here in South Africa next time) but it won’t be easy. We have done well this time but there is no guarantee that it will be the same next time. We might win all the three series but we might lose all. When we come again, we will start afresh.”