A common pattern in India‘s recent T20I defeats has been their bowlers leaking too many runs towards the end of the innings. This was the case to against Pakistan and more so vs Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2022. Unfortunately, it continued when India took on Australia in the first T20I in Mohali as Aaron Finch and Co. chased down a daunting target of 209 to win the match by four wickets and take a 1-0 lead in the three match series.
Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar in particular came under immense criticism over his poor death bowling performances in. On Tuesday, the 32-year-old conceded 16 runs in the 19th over of Australia’s innings as wicketkeeper batsman Matthew Wade took him to the cleaners with three consecutive fours. Bhuvneshwar eventually ended with harrowing figures of 0/52 from his four overs.
While there have been speculations of Bhuvneshwar’s position being in jeopardy, former Australia spinner Brad Hogg has backed the India seamer to come good in the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia. With Jasprit Bumrah returning to the set-up, Hogg reckons Bhuvneshwar will find back his rhythm and gain more confidence in the matches to come, and of course the World Cup.
“Indian fans are worried about Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s bowling in the death overs. As an overseas fan, I am happy because it plays into Australia’s favour. But Indian fans, don’t worry because he hasn’t had Bumrah at the other end to apply that pressure. In the World Cup, he will, so that’s where the batters will feel they need to go hard at Bhuvneshwar. That’s where his wicket-taking ability comes in,” said Hogg in a video posted on his Instagram page.
Bhuvneshwar, along with Bumrah, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh are the four fast-bowling options for India at the T20 World Cup. Having said that, Bumrah are Harshal seem a certainty, but just who will partner them between Bhuvneshwar and left-arm quick Arshdeep, will be interesting to see.
“He has bowled more balls in the 19th over than anyone else in the past one and a half year. So he has a wealth of experience with him. The Indian management are backing him. So don’t worry, he will do the job in Australia, especially playing at the bigger boundaries of the MCG at the Optus Stadium,” pointed out Hogg.