South Africa head coach Mark Boucher showered praises on the veteran Indian fast bowler, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, saying the latter has proved to be a threat to the visiting team in the recently-concluded 5-match T20I series. Boucher said it was Bhuvneshwar who put the brakes on the scoring rate throughout the series after the off-day in New Delhi where South Africa chased down 211. Bhuvneshwar Kumar won the Player of the Series Award for scalping 6 wickets in 4 matches and conceded at just 6.07 runs per over.
Bhuvneshwar became the first Indian pace to win more than one Player of the Series honour in T20I cricket and overtook Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma’s tally of 3 Player of the Series awards in international cricket.
As per the quotes in India Today, Mark Boucher said, “Bhuvi was special in this whole series as we came up against some quality bowling. He put us under pressure in Powerplays and barring one game (Delhi), where we got off to a good start, they have dominated us with both ball and bat in Powerplays.”
South Africa won the first couple of games in the 5-match series but lost the next two T20Is by comprehensive margins. Mark Boucher lauded India’s bench strength saying, it’s never easy for any touring team to beat India at home despite them resting key players, including Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah for the 5-match series.
Mark Boucher elaborated, “I know there weren’t a lot of top (India) players over here but the depth that Indian cricket has at the moment largely due to the IPL, they can take a lot of confidence as well. You just cant walk up in India and expect to win a series as well. So, we played a couple of good games and two bad games and there are a couple of reasons for that, but you can’t get too much into it.”
He concluded, “We didn’t play our best cricket and it was quite tough on our IPL players to stay throughout the whole IPL and then come to India back-to-back as well. Guys are little bit tired as well. So they will all enjoy the break and (having learnt a) lot of lessons in World Cup year. And see, if we can plug a few gaps going into Australia albeit in different conditions.”