Legendary Indian cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar has opined that there are serious concerns over the consistent failures of Bhuvneshwar Kumar for India in the death overs. Despite scoring 208 runs against Australia in the first T20I match of the series, India failed to defend the sore and lost the game with 4 balls to spare, as Matthew Wade and debutant Tim David made merry against the Indian bowlers on Tuesday, 20 September.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, bowling his final over in the crucial 19th over of the game, conceded 16 runs, which essentially sealed the fate of the match. Overall, Kumar finished with the figures of 4-0-52-0, the worst amongst all India bowlers.
Talking about the same during a chat with India Today, Sunil Gavaskar said, “We didn’t actually bowl as well. It’s a real concern. When somebody like Bhuvneshwar Kumar is going for so many runs every single time, when he is expected in 18 deliveries in 3 matches that India has lost against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Australia, he has given away 49 runs which are almost like 3 runs per ball.”
He further explained, “Someone of his experience and his caliber, you expect maybe he would give 35-36 runs. That really is an area of concern.”
Closely following Bhuvneshwar Kumar was Harshal Patel, who played his first game since his return from injury. Harshal gave away 49 runs from his full quota of four overs, however, Sunil Gavaskar came in defense of the pacer as it was Harshal’s first game after a return.
Sunil Gavaskar elaborated, “Harshal is generally a very meaty bowler. But let’s not forget he is coming back after a long break. That’s why it’s so important for the bowlers to have plenty of overs under their belt before they get to the World Cup. That’s the reason, India can maybe play Bumrah and Harshal even in a couple of the ODIs just to get miles in their legs. And to get their rhythm going. That’s something that the Indian management will have to look at.”