Mahendra Singh Dhoni Suggests Kandy Hero Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Play Kandy ODI like a ‘Test Match’
After a heroic knock handed Virat Kohli-led Men in Blue a hard-fought win over hapless Sri Lanka, Bhuvneshwar Kumar revealed his former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni told him to consider it as a Test match, in a bid to take-off the mounting pressure when India was reeling at 131 for seven in 21.5 overs.
“When I went into bat, Dhoni told me to play my natural game, ‘play as if you are playing a Test match,” after the second ODI, Bhuvneshwar explained in the post-match presser.
However, Kumar, who relied on the advice of his senior batsman scored, at a strike-rate of 66.25 per 100 balls.
“He told me not to take any pressure,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar added.
Coming to bat at No. 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar has registered his first One-day International half-century while forging a hundred-run stand with gloveman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, for the eighth wicket against Sri Lanka in Kandy.
“We didn’t plan anything extraordinary. We tried to keep it simple and not let the asking rate go beyond 6-7,” Kumar remarked.
The premier fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has played a significant knock of unbeaten 80-ball 53 knock, on Thursday (August 24), at Pallekele International Stadium – to overshadow the splendid figures of off-spinner Akila Dananjaya (6 for 54) in his quota off 10 overs.
However, India is leading the five-match ODI series by 2-0, after a significant recovery which further saw the visitors winning the game on Duckworth-Lewis Method (DLS) as they posted 231 for seven in 44.2 overs.
“We knew that if played the entire overs, we will end up winning. There was nothing to lose for us. We were already seven down,” Kumar further added.
While coming out as a batting hero, the 27-year-old Kumar played some quality strokes to smash four boundaries and a maximum, as he further played the white-ball according to its merit after the visitors were bound to play 47 overs in the rain-curtailed game.
On the other side, calm and composed Dhoni remained not out on 46 off 68 balls, as his innings included a solitary boundary.
“And I just went to bat without having any kind of pressure on myself. I just wanted to support MS as much I could,” Kumar maintained.
Straightforward in his response, Kumar termed the situation very tough when he joined right-handed batsman Dhoni following a 109-run stand for the first wicket in 15.3 overs.
“It was a bit surprising for me because we had a great opening start and all of a sudden, we collapsed. It was a panic situation for us,” Kumar conlcuded.
The low-scoring contest further witnessed a hara-kiri committed by the visitors, as hosts’ slow bowler Dananjaya pulled things back for Upul Tharanga-led Sri Lanka at one stage when he bagged six wickets in the space of 20 balls.
Interestingly, after Tharanga has been handed over a two-match ban owing to the slow-over rate, the hosts would face India in their third match of the series on August 27 at the same venue.
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