India’s new look limited-overs side, under the head coach Rahul Dravid, did something marvelous on Tuesday (20th July) in the second ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
As Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar stitched together an impressive 84-run partnership for the eighth wicket, the duo helped Team India win the second ODI against Sri Lanka by 3 wickets. The visitors have now taken an inaccessible lead of 2-0 in the three-match ODI series.
This was not the first time Bhuvneshwar Kumar was at the center of an amazing run-chase for Team India, as four years ago in 2017, he found himself in a similar situation along with MS Dhoni and played a match-winning innings to take the team over the line.
On 24 August 2017, India won in a similar fashion as the team chasing a target of 237 in the second ODI of the series, fell apart in the run chase, and were reduced to 131/7.
With 100 runs still to get, Bhuvneshwar Kumar walked out to accompany MS Dhoni and both stitched an unbeaten century partnership to steer India home safely and win the match.
On Tuesday, Bhuvneshwar Kumar walked out to bat when the visitors were facing trouble in their run chase and were reduced to 193/7. But this time, Kumar had the experience gained from batting alongside the run chase maestro, Dhoni.
Bhuvneshwar played the second fiddle (19 off 28) to Chahar (69 off 82) at the crease, and these two ensured there were no more hiccups in the run chase as India claimed their 93rd ODI win over Sri Lanka (most wins against an opponent in ODIs)
During the post-match presentation ceremony, Bhuvneshwar related the run-chase with Chahar to the one he had with Dhoni 4 years ago and said, “The situation was similar to that match (Pallekele 2017). We aimed to bat till the last over. We wanted to bat as deep as possible.”
“We didn’t think at any specific time that let’s take it on from here. We were batting one ball at a time. At any stage (during the partnership), we thought about winning or losing as the plan was to keep batting till the end and play according to the situation. Deepak [Chahar] wasn’t letting the required run-rate climb much above six and was playing his shots,” Bhuvneshwar added.
The 84-run unbeaten stand between Bhuvneshwar and Chahar was the second-highest 8th wicket partnership for India in ODIs, after the 100*-run stand between Bhuvneshwar and Dhoni against the same side in 2017.