Former India batsman, VVS Laxman lauds the Indian bowlers for their shrewd and controlled bowling performance against England in the second T20I in Ahmedabad on Sunday which saw the visitors manage a par total of 164 runs.
VVS Laxman points out that the pitch was not as flat as it was in the first T20I, and hence the bowlers did really well to adjust their pace and length throughout the innings, in particular in the death overs where they conceded only 35 runs in the last 5 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, and Hardik Pandya bowled a plethora of slower balls in the death, while spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar tied the batters in the middle-overs. VVS Laxman points out that India had the advantage of winning the toss and chasing, but the bowlers set up the victory.
“It was a good toss to win for Virat Kohli and Team India. But it is necessary to execute as well. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, and the spinners, all the bowlers bowled according to the pitch conditions,” VVS Laxman said while speaking with Star Sports.
“We saw a lot of cutters and slower ones. The change of pace were all short-pitched balls, they didn’t bowl them too far ahead and in the arc. This was not a flat wicket like the first match but overall it was an amazing bowling performance from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur and the other Indian bowlers,” he added.
Important in T20 cricket to know the length and pace to bowl on a particular wicket: VVS Laxman
The 46-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator praises the adaptability of the Indian bowlers as they kept the ball away from the aggressive English batsman restricting their big shots.
Laxman heaps praise for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is making a comeback after a long injury layoff. Kumar dismissed the dangerous Jos Buttler in the first over for a duck and was also quick to assess the conditions which helped other bowlers by advising them to take the pace off their deliveries.
“All the England batsmen are power-hitters and if you give them the pace and bowl in the arc, they can easily play the big shots. It becomes important in T20 cricket that you should know the length and pace to bowl on a particular wicket which would not allow the batsmen to play the big shots.
“Today we saw that Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is making a comeback and knows how to bring in the variations, bowling the knuckle-ball in the second over itself because he knew there was not much swing on offer and if you change your pace you can maintain pressure on good batsmen as well.
“Jos Buttler’s wicket was brilliant because the batsmen come under pressure when they lose wickets in the first six overs,” the former batsman added.