England’s tour of India concluded with a thriller between the two stalwarts. The series decider turned out to be a nail-bitter as India survived a stunning knock from Sam Curran who ended on 95*. India seemed to be going well and what seemed like a mere formality to polish off the tail proved to be an arduous task as the young Curran took the bowlers on and refused to succumb without a fight.
While Indian batsmen were sensational in the first innings, it was the duo of Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who stole the limelight with seven wickets between them. Bhuvneshwar gave India the perfect start in the powerplay before Shardul sent the set batsmen packing in the middle over to help India comeback into the game once again.
Shardul, who bagged four wickets, asserts that taking wickets regularly was the only way to tame the visitor’s strong batting order. He adds that variation is the key as the ball gets old in ODIs. Thakur’s victims in the series decider were Dawid Malan, Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone and Adil Rashid.
“When I came on to bowl, England had lost three wickets, Dawid Malan and Jos Buttler were batting and they were looking in good form and they were striking the ball well. My plan was to take wickets, their batting lineup is quite deep. With England’s batting lineup, it is important to take wickets at regular intervals. It is difficult coming into bowl as one change or the second change,” Shardul told Bhuvneshwar Kumar in a video posted on the official website of BCCI.
“When the ball gets old, it does not swing much and you have to extract something from the pitch by using cutters or bouncers. You have to try different balls, if you think about the strength of England’s batting, they will hit you but if you think that a dot ball or wicket ball can be bowled, then it will help you and this is the right mindset. Virat Kohli took a stunning catch, at that time, we desperately needed a wicket. I am happy that Rashid’s wicket came of my bowling but Virat took a blinder of a catch,” he added.
“Change the field setup to disturb the batter,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Making a comeback to ODI cricket after over a year, Bhuvneshwar was the pick of the Indian bowlers in the series. The lanky speedster exhibited great control and accuracy as he finished as with six wickets with an economy well under 5. He starred in the powerplay with two wickets in his first two overs to rock the English boat early one.
Bhuvneshwar shares that his experience helped him breach England’s in-form opening pair. He set up Jason Roy with some excellent field placements before sending Jonny Bairstow back with a brilliant inswinger.
“I was trying to swing the ball, in the first over, Jason Roy scored boundaries of good balls, luckily I was able to dismiss Roy in the very first over and the momentum changed after that. Experience always helps, I have learnt that you change the field setup to disturb the batter, these small things I have learnt,” Bhuvneshwar shares.
“To be honest, it was a very challenging series, we knew England has a strong batting lineup. It was a tough series for the bowlers, but in the end, it was a perfect series for us.“
Earlier, India’s batting unit displayed a change of approach in the third ODI. The hosts posted a total of 329 despite losing wickets at regular intervals. Rishabh Pant (78), Hardik Pandya (64), and Shikhar Dhawan (67) registered half-centuries as India set a 330-run target for the visitors.