Indian pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar mentioned that dismissing Pakistan captain Babar Azam helped them to unsettle the opponent’s plans in the first innings.
On Sunday, India defeated Pakistan by five wickets in a thrilling encounter at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar picks 4/26 against Pakistan
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and asked their counterparts to bat first.
In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, the responsibility was on Bhuvneshwar Kumar to deliver in the high-octane contest. And so did the 32-year-old, making his wide experience count and led the bowling unit with intensity.
Babar started his innings with a couple of boundaries, one came in the very first over off Bhuvneshwar. It was in the third over that the Indian pacer got the big wicket of the Pakistan captain.
Bhuvneshwar banged the short ball to which Babar hooked only to get caught by young Arshdeep Singh at short fine leg. Bhuvneshwar bowled an impetus spell from his four overs as he claimed three more wickets in Pakistan’s middle and lower order.
Asif Ali, Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah were the later dismissals of the Indian pacer who finished 4/26 from four overs. Mohammad Rizwan top-scored for Pakistan with 43 in 42 balls the team were bowled out for 147 in 19.5 overs.
Once Babar Azam was out, we knew their plans will be disturbed: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar said that the team wasn’t relaxed after Babar’s dismissal because they knew Pakistan had good batters left in their ranks.
“Once Babar was dismissed, we did not think that half of the Pakistan team has been dismissed. He is a good player but technically there were 9 other batters still left. As a team, we do not think that if the best batter is out, then half of the team is dismissed,” Bhuvneshwar said in the post-match press conference.
“But yes, once he was out, we knew their plans will be disturbed as the batter who plays the role of the anchor was gone,” he added.
India chased down 148 with two balls to spare, thanks to the excellent efforts by Ravindra Jadeja (35) and Hardik (33*) in their 52-run stand for the fifth wicket.