Ahead of India’s Test series opener against South Africa in Cape Town, visiting fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has admitted that bowling with the red Kookaburra ball will be a challenge for him and his fellow pacers.
Owing to wet and windy conditions at the Western Province Cricket Club (WPCC), Team India honed their skills on indoor nets yesterday. Addressing the media after the practice session, Bhuvneshwar said the visitors are expecting a typical hard and bouncy Proteas wickets. Bhuvi also made it clear that just like the way batsmen will be dealing with the extra bounce, bowlers will have to make the necessary adjustment to bowl with the Kookaburra.
"The first thing that comes to the mind when you are touring South Africa is bouncy wickets. But that is no surety of what kind of pitch you would get in the game," Bhuvneshwar Kumar told reporters.
"When it comes to batsmen there is the bounce factor. But that is a factor for the bowlers too. The Kookaburra is the toughest ball to bowl with. It does not do too much after 25-30 overs, so these are the kind of situations we are trying to prepare for," he added.
Bhuvneshwar, who has taken 53 wickets in 19 Tests thus far, revealed the Indian pace battery has not made any started as of now and is on concentrating on bowing long spells.
"We have not talked so far on the strategy. The focus is on the basics. May be a couple of days before the first Test, we will see how to strategise according to the batsman.
"Yesterday, we did two sessions to get into the Test mode. It is a six-hour day in a Test match so we bowled twice. We wanted to bowl as long as possible," Bhuvi disclosed.
With 1-0 series win against Sri Lanka last month, Team India recorded their 9th consecutive Test series victories and with that Kohli equalled Australia’s legendary skipper Ricky Ponting’s feat of most consecutive Test series wins as a captain. India now have a chance to make 10 in a row, however, what sounds difficult is – no Indian side has ever won a Test series on the South African soil.
Nonetheless, Bhuvneshwar feels the current crop of Indian players have it in them to rewrite the history books.
"Everyone is confident. We know there is a chance to win a series in South Africa but to be able to do that we know we have to give our best. We have done well in the last two years and we are confident of doing well in these conditions," Kumar remarked.
The 27-year-old believes each one of current Indian pacer brings something different to the table and hence they learn a lot from each other.
"Yes we can pick few a things from each other. I can pick reverse swing from Umesh, Ishant and Shami and they can pick swing from me."
Bhuvneshwar Kumar concluded by talking about the prospect of bowling on seaming South African wickets.
"First big change is the bounce. I won't say swing so much but bounce is something every fast bowler enjoys," he signed-off.