Wasim Jaffer lauds Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his stunning spell in 2nd T20I
By SMCS - Jun 14, 2022 7:58 am
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Former India player Wasim Jaffer has praised Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his four-wicket haul against South Africa in the second T20I on Sunday, 12th June. He also applauded the pace bowler for showcasing his experience in the crunch situation. His spell of 4-13 was the best for an Indian bowler for a losing cause in T20Is as well.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar

However, while defending a sub-part first innings total of 148, he dismissed three of the Proteas’ top-four for less than five runs each. But, Heinrich Klaasen’s swashbuckling 81 (46) and Temba Bavuma’s 35 (30) helped the visitors win the game easily with six wickets and 10 balls to spare.

While speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Wasim Jaffer looked at the positives, saying Kumar’s return to form after a long time will be helpful for India’s 2022 T20 World Cup plans. Jaffer said: “This is a good thing for Indian selectors that with the World Cup coming, you have Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah – a lot of new-ball options. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is doing what he’s famous for – making the ball swing, bowling at a good length and attacking the stumps. He has bowled very smartly.”

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He further added: “He would have observed what’s more difficult to play on the pitch during India’s innings, so pitched the ball at the 6-8m mark and brought the ball in which got him the wickets. It shows his experience and confidence gained by playing for so long. He knows selectors aren’t considering him for Tests and he’s playing just white-ball cricket. He’s a shrewd operator who knows what to bowl at which pitch and it’s very, very nice to see.”

However, Wasim Jaffer also opined on interim captain Rishabh Pant’s luck with the toss but gave the credit to South Africa and their skipper Temba Bavuma for doing well so far. Jaffer said: “I am disappointed, no doubt… They’ve lost both the tosses so India hasn’t got the rub of the green yet but you have to give credit to South Africa… Bavuma has been especially impressive with his captaincy. You have to admire the way he didn’t bowl the spinners much, how he rotated the fast-bowlers and set the fields. They seem to have done their homework and are playing with pinpoint planning.”

Team India bowled brilliantly in the second innings

However, this was India’s second straight loss in the five-match T20I series. In the first game, they couldn’t defend 211 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. And, in the second, Axar Patel came to bat ahead of the designated finisher Dinesh Karthik while Patel got out for 10 (11), Karthik was dismissed for 30 (21) as well. The third T20I will take place in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.

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Wasim Jaffer said: “Yes it did surprise me a bit but it looks like Dinesh Karthik has been given the finisher role where irrespective of the situation he’ll be sent only in the last five overs. So maybe that was the reason Axar was sent ahead. Axar is a decent batter too, has won matches in the IPL on his own. So although I was surprised, I can understand why it happened.”

“His role has been made specific. Sometimes I feel it’s better too because suppose if you have given the finisher role to a batter and he gets more overs than usual by default in a match so it might be confusing for him to to build the innings and wait for the last few overs to attack. But when you came directly at the end, you know you have to bat in the fifth gear from the start and go from ball one. So there’s that role clarity which Dinesh Karthik is aware about too,” Wasim Jaffer concluded.