New Delhi, September 21
The legendary Sunil Gavaskar feels senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s poor show at the death overs is a “real concern” for India going into the next month’s T20 World Cup.
Bhuvneshwar has leaked quite a lot of runs at the death in the last few matches. He gave away 16 runs in the 19th over which allowed Australia to pull off a record chase of 209 in the first T20I in Mohali on Tuesday.
“I don’t think there was too much dew. We didn’t see the fielders or bowlers trying to use the towel to try and dry their fingers. That’s not an excuse. We didn’t bowl well. For example, that 19th over... that’s a real concern,” Gavaskar said on a TV show.
“Somebody like Bhuvneshwar Kumar is going for runs every single time, when he is expected. In 18 deliveries he has bowled in three matches against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and now Australia, he has given away 49 runs. It is almost three runs per ball. Somebody with his experience and calibre, you expect he will give 35-36 runs in those 18 deliveries. That really is an area of concern.”
The former India skipper said the team has not been able to defend good totals but hoped a fit-again Jasprit Bumrah’s return will strengthen the bowling department.
“Maybe when Bumrah comes in, it might be a completely different situation because he gets wickets at the top. India didn’t get those today (Tuesday) as Australia got off to a flying start,” he added.
‘Must give Bumrah time’
Bumrah, who did not play the Asia Cup due to a back injury, was sorely missed against Australia. That the Indian bowlers leaked more than 11 runs per over, except Axar Patel, is a clear indication of how important he is to the team.
Keeping in mind his timely return, it would be wise to not rush the pacer into action. Even more crucial will be to not put too much pressure on him and give him ample time to get into the groove.
“We all know what he brings to the table and how important he is for us. There will be concerns here and there (about bowling) which is fine. We got to trust our boys. These are the best 15 in the country and that is why they are there in the squad,” all-rounder Hardik Pandya said.
“Jasprit not being there obviously makes a big difference. He is coming back after an injury, it is important for him to get enough time to kind of come back and may be not put a lot of pressure on himself,” he added.
Pandya smashed 71 not out off 30 balls to take India past 200. He has been the team’s standout player ever since his comeback post the IPL.
Talking about his performances of late, he said: “I have gotten a lot of success recently but for me, what is more important is that even on my good days how can I get better? The kind of career graph I have had, I don’t make a big deal about my performances whether success or failure.”
“I had a good game today (Tuesday night). They could target me in the next game and I need to be one step ahead,” he added.
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