Not many would have expected that India would lose the first T20I against South Africa after posting 211/4 in 20 overs. But such was the brilliance of David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen that the duo took the game by the scruff of its neck and the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan had no answers. Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, experienced player Bhuvneshwar had a hilarious answer when asked about India’s bowling plans for Miller.
The southpaw played a 64-run knock against India in the first T20I as the left-hander carried on with his form from the IPL 2022. Miller had helped Gujarat Titans win the latest edition of the cash-rich league.
When asked about how India are planning to bowl to Miller, Bhuvneshwar said: “It is difficult (bowling to Miller). He is in such good form. I would want South Africa to drop him but they would not do so (laughs).”
The response drew laughter from the room.
“He batted so well in the IPL; we know his calibre. Bowling to him would be a challenge,” Bhuvneshwar went on to say about Miller.
The pacer accepted that poor bowling cost India the game.
“We have not seen the wicket. We have just come here. As you said, the bowling was not up to the mark in the first game so we are expecting that we bowl better in the second T20I and we are able to win to level the series. We have four games remaining in this series, we have a chance to win the series. We have to bowl better, and we need to bat in the same fashion like the previous game,” said Bhuvneshwar during a press conference in Cuttack ahead of the second T20I.
“We discussed what went wrong. It was the first game of the series; everyone is coming out the IPL and almost everyone who is in the team had a good IPL. So, everyone knows what needs to be done and the things we can improve on. As a bowling unit, we had an off day and we all want to make a comeback in the second T20I,” he added.
Further quizzed about his own bowling, the pacer said: “My target is no different, it is the same as previous times. My role is to bowl at the powerplay and at the death. My focus is on that. The senior bowlers are not here, there are some new bowlers here so I try to take the responsibility. You always try to talk to other bowlers and I try to keep talking with them. Focus is on bowling very well in each game.”
“We did not bowl well, everyone knows that. It was just the first game; we still have the chance to win the series. It depends on the situation, but sometimes, you are not able to execute. When you are defending, generally the mindset is defensive. If you get a wicket, it works very well. But generally, you have a defensive mindset when you are defending a total,” he added.
Lastly, Bhuvneshwar also backed skipper Rishabh Pant, saying it is the job of the bowlers to make the captain look good.
“Rishabh Pant is a young captain, it was his first game. It happens with everyone. I am sure he will try to do better in the next games. It is up to the team on how the captain looks. We did not bowl well, every decision he takes and if it brings about a wicket, everyone hails the call but if it goes the other way, the people criticise. But I think, it is up to the bowling team on how the captain looks. We did not perform well as a bowling unit,” said Bhuvneshwar.
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