Bhuvneshwar Kumar opines that it was Shardul Thakur who broke the back of England’s chase during the 3rd ODI on Sunday helping India clinch the series. Thakur came to bowl in the 14th over and dismissed England’s stand-in captain, Jos Buttler.
Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone staged a fightback with a partnership; however, the Palghar pacer got rid of both the batsmen. He returned to scalp out Adil Rashid as well when Sam Curran threatened to take the game away. Earlier he also scored 30 off 21 balls to take the total to 329.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar points out that Thakur bowled in the middle-overs brilliantly; he says that the Chennai Super Kings pacer has been brilliant this season from Australia to the home series against England. Thakur was the leading wicket-taker in both the T20I and ODIs.
“Today, he performed really well. He had come in as the second change bowler when the ball doesn’t swing at all and there was a lot of batting remaining too. So it’s tough for any bowler to come in there and pick up wickets.
“If you ask me, he changed the entire match completely. What role generally spinners play, today we played one less spinner, he gave us the breakthrough and put us in a position where we could win from,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar said in the virtual press conference.
“He’s improved a lot as a bowler be it in his batting or bowling. That’s what a team needs, for a player to contribute with the bat or ball. He’s done that since the T20s and now he’s done it here. He’s contributed a lot. You can see a difference in his game; not difference, but improvement. And his confidence is right up there too. Just how he’s performed in the T20s or now,” he lauded Thakur.
My priority still is Test cricket: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Speaking about his return, the Uttar Pradesh pacer is happy with his comeback in limited-overs cricket for India. Now he is looking forward to a return in the longest format. Bhuvneshwar Kumar last played a Test in January 2018 and has been away owing to multiple injuries. He will be playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2021 but says that he will manage his workload and train keeping an eye on the 5-match Test series in England as well.
“Of course, red-ball cricket is in my radar. I will prepare to keep the red ball in mind. Although what kind of team will be selected for Test matches is an entirely different scenario. My workload management and training during IPL will be keeping red ball in mind because I know there’s a lot of Tests ahead and my priority still is Test cricket. So from my end, I will do everything to get ready for the Test series,” the 31-year-old added.