Asia Cup 2018: Bhuvneshwar Kumar sends Pakistani openers packing early

Talismanic swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar rolled back the clock to 2013 where he made his debut against Pakistan with another peach of a spell.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Anuraag Peesara

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The greatest cricketing spectacle is back as India and Pakistan have finally locked horns amidst a lot of speculations in the Asia Cup group stage encounter. This is the first battle between the arch-rivals having faced each other in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in July 2017 and the first player to have his say in the game was none other than Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Coming into this battle, clearly, the Indian side was the under the scanner. After a dismal performance against Hong Kong, many expected their morale to be on the lower side. But Rohit Sharma’s side showed great spirit and courage to give India a fantastic start in the powerplay.

The talismanic swing bowler rolled back the clock to 2013 when he made his debut against Pakistan with another peach of a spell. He seemed impregnable in every aspect as his counterparts could do nothing but defend or surrender their wickets to him.

Openers walk back as India take the initial control

Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar decided to keep their line straight and the length was hovering the short-of-length region. This frustrated both Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman who usually enjoy striking the ball crisp and clean when there’s width being offered by the bowlers.

As India’s new-ball bowlers gave nothing away, both these players tried to do something audacious and unfortunately, fortune didn’t favour them. Cashing in on the situation was Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who first removed Imam-ul-Haq. The southpaw danced down the ground and swung his bat ludicrously, only to find an outside edge straight into the hands of MS Dhoni.

Here’s the video of the first wicket:

It didn’t take long for the Meerut pacer to send the other opener back. Off the first ball of his third over, he bowled another short-of-a-length delivery and Fakhar went for the pull. He completely miscued it and Yuzvendra Chahal took a decent catch getting underneath the swirling ball at square leg inside the 30-yard circle.

Pakistan could only manage 25 runs in the first 10 overs and are under some serious pressure. They need a couple of good partnerships to keep their ship afloat.

Here’s the video of the second wicket.

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