Fri, 14 Aug 2020

For Bhuvneshwar, 'wickets a by-product of tight bowling'

12 Aug 2019, 16:42 GMT+10

12:41 AM ET

Five minutes was all it took for Bhuvneshwar Kumar to flip the game in India's favour.

Thirty-fifth over. Nicholas Pooran, the form batsman, made it look like West Indies had the game in their pocket. They needed 92 in 12 overs, perfectly doable.

The ball was on the shorter side, probably a bit slower than Pooran expected, and it was pulled to leg, where Virat Kohli was positioned at deep midwicket. Gone. Two balls later came the catch of the match. Before fans or even the Indian players realised what had happened, Bhuvneshwar, in his follow through, had plucked the ball out of thin air after a Roston Chase leading edge, flying diagonally to his left and landing on his arms.

The score: 179 for 6, after the over had started with 178 for 4.

"My catch, I just took it!" he said with a laugh at the press conference. It was too fast for him to even process what was happening. He'd taken a similar catch in the second T20I in Lauderhill, but this one was different.

"I wasn't thinking much about the result. We knew if we could get one or two wickets then we would be back in the game. When I came to bowl, all I was thinking was I have to bowl economically and I feel that wickets are the by-product of bowling tight."

Bhuvneshwar's four wickets might have helped India reach the finish line, but there were two other performances that stood out for the team: the innings from Kohli and Shreyas Iyer.

Kohli's century (120 in 125 balls) was his first in 11 innings. The knock also took him past Sourav Ganguly's tally of 11,363 runs, making him the eighth highest run-getter in ODIs.

"From Virat's expression you could see that he badly wanted to score a 100, not because he was out of form, but because he was getting out in the 70s and 80s and he always looking to score big runs," Bhuvneshwar said. "The wicket wasn't easy and it wasn't easy to score runs as the ball got older. We know how good he is a player."

Iyer's performance was overshadowed by Kohli's, but he was as impressive, with a sensible 71 from 68 balls. For Bhuvneshwar, "I think it was a crucial partnership with Virat. He was hitting singles and he was hitting boundaries as well. I think he played with maturity."

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