Bhuvneshwar Kumar Reckons The Situation In The 2nd ODI Was Similar To The Match In Pallekele 2017
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Bhuvneshwar Kumar Reckons The Situation In The 2nd ODI Was Similar To The Match In Pallekele 2017

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has happy batting memories in Sri Lanka. After playing a sizeable part in India’s win in the second ODI in Colombo, the current vice-captain linked the situation in the second ODI to that of the side’s condition in the Pallekele ODI win against the same opposition in 2017. The pacer tailender and MS Dhoni were involved in a match-winning eighth-wicket stand.

Chasing 231 from 47 overs in that match, India was reduced to 131 for seven in the 22nd over, with spinner Akila Dananjaya claiming a six-for. Bhuvneshwar Kumar stitched an unbeaten century stand with MS Dhoni and registered his only ODI fifty in the process. India ended up winning the series 5-0.

MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar after their match-winning partnership at Pallekele (Photo: Twitter)
MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar after their match-winning partnership at Pallekele (Photo: Twitter)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar Said The Situation In The 2nd ODI Similar To The Match In Pallekele 2017

Bhuvneshwar Kumar arrived in a precarious situation on Tuesday, with India seven down for 193 in the 36th overs in their chase of 276. He added a run-a-ball unbeaten 84 with fellow pacer Deepak Chahar (69 runs off 82 balls) to see the side through.

“The situation was similar to that match (Pallekele 2017). We aimed to bat till the last over. We wanted to bat as deep as possible,” said Bhuvneshwar in the post-match press conference.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)

With a mastermind in MS Dhoni around in the aforementioned 2017 ODI, the message from his former captain was simple – ‘bat-like how do you do in Tests. Bhuvneshwar Kumar followed the chase blueprint and ended up outscoring the chase master.

Incidentally, it was the same 2nd match of the 5 match ODI series. MS Dhoni scored unbeaten 45 and Bhuvneshwar Kumar scored an unbeaten 53. India started well with Rohit Sharma scoring 54 and Shikhar Dhawan scoring 49 before Akila Dhananjaya’s 6 wicket haul as Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, and Axar Patel departed with single-digit scores. The match was reduced to 47 overs due to rain.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Deepak Chahar Wasn’t Letting The Required Run Rate Climb Much Above 6

Four years later, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the team’s vice-captain, was the Deepak Chahar’s senior partner. He let the 28-year-old play his natural game and happily played the supporting role of 19 not out.

Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 8th wicket partnership saw India home in the 2nd ODI vs Sri Lanka (BCCI)
Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Image Credits: BCCI

Revealing further on the chase, Bhuvneshwar Kumar revealed that the duo didn’t worry about the result and was batting one ball at a time. He also stated that his fellow pacer Deepak Chahar, who has quite a reputation as a lower-order batter, was doing his bit to keep the required run-rate in check.

“We didn’t think at any specific time that let’s take it on from here. We were batting one ball at a time. At any stage (during the partnership), we thought about winning or losing as the plan was to keep batting till the end and play according to the situation. Deepak [Chahar] wasn’t letting the required run-rate climb much above six and was playing his shots,” added Bhuvneshwar, who has his name in the top two entries in India’s highest eighth-wicket partnerships.

The unbeaten 100-run stand between keeper MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar remains India’s highest eighth-wicket stand in ODIs. His unbeaten 84 stand with Deepak Chahar from the second ODI is now second-best for the eighth wicket, followed by an 84-run stand between Praveen Kumar and Harbhajan Singh against Australia at Baroda in 2009.

After the dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav, who also notched his maiden ODI fifty and ended up scoring 53 off 44 balls, Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar teamed up and stitched an unbeaten 84-run stand for the eighth wicket to finish the chase successfully. Deepak Chahar was the top scorer for India, returning unbeaten 69 to bag the Player of the Match award.

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