In the second episode of ESPNcricinfo Cricketbaazi, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar speaks with Deep Dasgupta. Known for finishing the game with his ball, Bhuvneshwar talks about his approach which is much like former India skipper M.S. Dhoni.
“Like M.S. Dhoni, I try to detach myself from the result and focus on small things, which I also refer to as process. And this helps in getting the desired outcome. During IPL when I had a couple of good seasons, I was in this ‘zone’. I was so focused on my process, that the result had become secondary. And results were positive,” he said.
“If I am bowling the last over to Andre Russell and I have to defend 14 runs, the first thing I’ll think of is the ground that I am bowling at and its dimensions. Then I’ll plan where I want to bowl to him and hope he misses a ball or mistimes his shot. He is the kind of batsman, against whom your luck matters a lot. “
As a bowler when he is at the top of his mark, how he plans his delivery, Bhuvneshwar said: “I go with only one option because I find it difficult to change my delivery in my sprint or after I have taken my jump. If the batsman moves, I will tweak my line a bit depending on where the batsman is moving but I’ll stick to what I want to bowl.”
Talking about bowling under pressure, Bhuvneshwar has an advice for youngsters. “In international cricket, you know the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition batsmen. I keep thinking about the process and how to exploit his weakness. My focus is set and it helps me execute my plan.”
Commenting on India not winning any ICC tournament for long, Bhuvneshwar said, “The last we won was the Champions Trophy in 2013. And since then, there have been only 3-4 ICC tournaments and we have made it to the semis or the finals about 2-3 times. In 2015 World Cup we lost to Australia in the semi-final. And in 2019 World Cup, it was bad luck. An early loss of three top order batsmen cost us the game. It rarely happens that in a match after dismissing the opposition for under 250, you are get bowled out.
“In that entire World Cup, Rohit Sharma had scored five or six centuries, K.L. Rahul was in good form, Virat Kohli played as always and we had MS Dhoni as well in the team. Even in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, things changed after Jasprit Bumrah’s no-ball. It’s not like we’ve had a one-sided loss or we went down without a fight. We’ve always lost due to an unfortunate event or incident. Although, the 2017 Champions Trophy final was a one-sided loss where they outplayed us. And it’s difficult to pin-point the exact reason for the loss. But losing these knockout matches masks the fact that we actually played very well through those tournaments.”