Kanpur: Bhuvneshwar Kumar feels a win in the third and deciding ODI against the West Indies here Wednesday will raise the morale of the team ahead of the tour to South Africa, next month.
The third ODI in Kanpur holds great significance for both India and West Indies as the series is currently tied at 1-1 after the visitors secured a close two-wicket win in the last game at Visakhapatnam. India had won the first match by six wickets in Kochi.
“Tomorrow’s match will be a crucial one. It is important in the context of the South Africa series. Our morale would be high going into South Africa tour if we can win the series,” Bhuvneshwar said at the pre-match press conference at the Green Park Stadium, which is hosting an international game after nearly four years.
Giving special significance to the match, Bhuvneshwar said he was eyeing a much-improved performance at his home ground.
“From a personal point of view, if I perform well my confidence would be high going into the South Africa tour,” the pacer said.
“The stadium has changed a lot since I played here the last time. It feels proud to play in your home ground, at a ground from where you started your Ranji Trophy career.”
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had said dew played a major role in deciding the outcome of the match in Visakhapatnam.
“We accepted dew to be there is the last match but dew is not an excuse for our defeat,” Bhuvneshwar said.
Bhuvneshwar said they are not under any pressure. “We are not under any pressure because they (West Indies) came here to play and win.
“It is good for the series that it is tied at 1-1. Our morale is high because the last match was a close affair,” he said.
After sitting out for nearly a year, Zaheer Khan made a comeback into the Test squad for the South Africa tour and Bhuvneshwar welcomed the pacer’s inclusion.
“Zaheer’s comeback is good for the team. He has been our main bowler for a long time. We can learn a lot from him (in South Africa),” he said.