Bhuvneshwar Kumar considers MS Dhoni’s form: The Indian pacer emphasized on the wicket-keeper batsman’s form.
Coming on the back of nearly a month-long break, India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is highly anticipated to feature in all the three ODIs against Australia. Since these are the only matches left before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Bhuvneshwar would be wanting to make the most of them.
While Bhuvneshwar and fellow fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah were considered to be India’s premier new-ball bowlers for the World Cup, that notion has been slightly affected with the recent performances of Mohammed Shami.
In nine ODIs this year, Shami has dismissed 16 batsmen at an average of 24.56, an economy rate of 4.99 and a strike rate of 29.5. His knack of taking wickets with the new ball has been key to his craft in 2019. While he might get a go before Bhuvneshwar, the latter wasn’t worried about the playing combination in the upcoming matches.
“I’m not worried about who’s getting a chance and who’s not getting. More importantly, it’s about getting rest. Shami got rest in New Zealand, I got rest in this series. You want to be consistent and for that you want to be fit. That’s the reason why I took rest,” Bhuvneshwar addressed the reporters during the pre-match press conference in Ranchi.
Bhuvneshwar differentiates between IPL and international cricket
Being asked regarding preparing for the world event with a looming season of the Indian Premier League, Bhuvneshwar was clear in his words as he segregated between IPL and international cricket.
“Not necessarily IPL [regarding preparing for 2019 World Cup], but these three matches definitely, also because we can’t take any match lightly. Obviously these are the crucial matches for us going into the World Cup.
“IPL is something, it’s where we polish our skills and be in form but ODI and T20I are totally different. So we are approaching these matches [three ODIs] as the last before the World Cup,” Bhuvneshwar said.
Out of Bumrah’s 46 ODIs since making his debut three years ago, 33 have come with Bhuvneshwar Kumar also in the side. The duo have counted for wickets with the new ball and restricted run-flow during the slog overs in the recent years.
Bhuvneshwar also highlighted how not just he and Bumrah but other Indian bowlers also try to complement each other. “If Bumrah is taking wickets then I can contain runs, so that there’s pressure on the batsmen. These are things which we keep working on.
“Not just two of us but as a bowling unit, we keep in mind that if somebody is picking wickets, the other bowler’s job is to not give away any runs. It could be vice versa, I could be taking wickets and he could be containing,” Bhuvneshwar added.
“I work out batting situations in the nets”
A primary reason why Bhuvneshwar will be preferred ahead of Shami is his batting skills. On several occasions in the past, the 29-year old right-hand batsman has put on display his character when it comes to spending time in the middle.
With Indian bowlers comprising on a long and weak tail, Bhuvneshwar’s presence might aid the Indian batsmen especially during situations of a batting collapse. Being asked about his preparations as a batsman, Bhuvneshwar disclosed working out various situations in the nets.
“Depends on what the situation is. If there are a few overs left and there’s a batsman with me, I try to give strike to him and hit a few balls. If there are many overs left and not many wickets, I just try to give myself the best chance to stay so that we can score as many runs as possible.
“In my mind, I work out situations. Like how I should play if I bat for four overs or how should I approach myself if its 10 overs. These are things I work at the nets,” he further added.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar on MS Dhoni
Before concluding, Bhuvneshwar explained how former India captain and current wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s form will be crucial for India during the World Cup. “Dhoni’s form will be very beneficial for India. Whenever he plays, he can make us win from any situation,” he said.
“So, it is very important for him to be in form. When he is in form, the top-order batsman and the lower order batsman know how to play around him and how to bat in certain situations. So, it is very important for him to be in form for the World Cup,” Bhuvneshwar concluded.
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India and Australia will play the third ODI of the ongoing series at Ranchi tomorrow.