Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar reckons that Bhuvneshwar Kumar hasn’t been his usual self and has lost his ineffectiveness in the death overs of the ODIs.
Along with Bhuvneshwar, Shardul Thakur also leaked runs and the combined figures of the duo read 20-0-136-1. Neither of them could offer support to Jasprit Bumrah, who was brilliant as usual.
“Both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur leaked runs, though Thakur had made up for it somewhat by cracking an unbeaten half-century when SA had eased the pressure. For some time now, Bhuvneshwar has not been able to stem the runs in the final overs like he used to.”
“That this series doesn’t count for points in the ICC Super League is a blessing. India being the host country will get an automatic entry, but that route is not for this Indian team,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for TOI.
“Good idea to use Rishabh Pant as a finisher” – Sunil Gavaskar
Gavaskar also pointed out that it might be effective if India opts to play Rishabh Pant as a finisher instead of having him walk out at No.4 in ODIs, just to maintain the left-right batting combination.
“The middle-order floundered after the terrific partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, as Pant and the two Iyers were unable to cash in and take the team home.”
“Pant, in recent times, has been used at no.4 in the ODIs where he has not quite found the right mix of patience and aggression, so maybe it might be a good idea to use him as finisher at no.6, where he can throw his bat at will without having to bother too much about the situation,” Gavaskar added.
The second ODI is underway at Boland Park in Paarl.