India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar signed off the South Africa tour with a brilliant spell of 2 for 24 in the series-decider T20I in Cape Town on Saturday (February 24). Bhuvi finished the three-match Twenty-20 international series with 7 wickets to his name as the Men in Blue clinched the series 2-1.
Addressing the media after the third and final T20I, Bhuvneshwar credited the Indian Premier League (IPL) for his and Jasprit Bumrah’s success. The 28-year-old stressed on the competitiveness of IPL where a bowler has to constantly think to execute the plans properly.
“T20 is a format that finishes quickly and you have only four overs. If there are three bad balls in one over, you will go for runs and your whole analysis will suffer. The team gets on the back foot because of those three balls,” Bhuvneshwar told reporters.
“So each and every ball becomes very important, it makes the bowler a thinking bowler. You have to execute the plan properly. Bumrah plays for a different team but yes whatever he does for his team gives confidence to each and every one,” he added.
With his stunning bowling figures (4-0-24-5) in the first T20I at Wanderers, Bhuvi became the first Indian bowler to take five-wicket haul across all three formats. It is worth mentioning here that Bhuvneshwar was Player of the Match for his awe-inspiring all-round show in the Wanderers Test – India’s only Test victory on this South Africa tour.
“In Test matches, there is not much variation. 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. However, when it comes to T20, you have to be proactive and you cannot react after what the batsman does,” Kumar said.
“T20 cricket is all about using variations and the timing has to be perfect. I have tried the knuckle ball to good effect and tried to tempt the batsmen on that. That’s one of the main reasons why I have been successful in powerplays,” he explained.
Considering the overall success in South Africa wherein Virat Kohli and company won 8 out of the 12 matches across all three formats, Bhuvi is confident that this Indian team will do well in the upcoming overseas assignments in England and Australia.
“If you talk about Test matches, we were brilliant. Yes, we lost two matches but they were very close and the series could have even been 3-0 or 2-1 to us. And the guys gained a lot and are very confident of going to England and Australia and performing since we have done well here. We can do better in other countries too, especially in England, but again we have to prepare for that,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar concluded.