Former captain Sunil Gavaskar feels senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s poor show at the death overs is a “real concern” for India, going into next month’s T20 World Cup. Bhuvneshwar has leaked quite a lot of runs at the death in the last few matches.
His 16-run 19th over allowed Australia to pull off a record chase of 209 in the first T20I in Mohali on Tuesday night. “I don’t think there was too much dew. We didn’t see the fielders or bowlers trying to use the towel to try and dry their fingers. That’s not an excuse. We didn’t bowl well. For example, that 19th over... that’s a real concern,” Gavaskar said on Sports Today.
“Somebody like a Bhuvneshwar Kumar is going for runs every single time. In 18 deliveries he has bowled in three matches against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and now Australia, he has given away 49 runs.
“It is almost three runs per ball. Somebody with his experience and calibre, you expect he will give 35-36 runs in those 18 deliveries. That really is an area of concern.”
The former skipper said India have not been able to defend good totals but hoped a fit-again Jasprit Bumrah’s return will strengthen the bowling department. Bumrah has been out of action since the limited-overs series against England in July this year.
“What we have seen in the last few years is that it has been one of the areas where India have suffered. They have not been able to defend good scores,” said Gavaskar. “Maybe when Bumrah comes in, it might be a completely different situation because he gets wickets at the top. India didn’t get those on Tuesday as Australia got off to a flying start. Having said that, it’s only the first match. Don’t forget, Australia are world champions. They are expected to do extraordinary things.”
Former head coach Ravi Shastri also came down heavily on India’s “sloppy standard of fielding” in the first T20I.