Bhuvneshwar Kumar says his job is to build pressure with dot balls, so that his partner picks up wickets

He also talked about the strategy they opt for while dealing with the Kiwi opener.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

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Team India completed one more ODI series win defeating New Zealand by seven wickets in the third ODI at Mount Maunganui and going up 3-0 in the five-match series. It was another clinical performance by the bowling as well as batting units and the hosts clearly were the second best. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar who opened the bowling didn’t pick a whole lot of wickets but made a key contribution subjecting the opening batsmen under immense pressure with dot balls.

New Zealand for once won the toss and chose to bat first. After the openers departed cheaply, skipper Kane Williamson contributed 28. Thereafter Ross Taylor (93 with 9 fours) and Tom Latham (51) added 119 runs for the fourth wicket to help the hosts move forward in direction of 270 odd runs.

But the Indian bowlers, especially Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar with two wickets each and Mohammed Shami kept Kiwis to 243 runs. Shami was the pick of the bowlers ending with figures of 3/41 and was the Man of the Match, his second such award in the series.

Team India chased down the Kiwi target of 243 runs for the loss of just three wickets, as Rohit Sharma (62) and Virat Kohli (60) added more than 100 runs for the second wicket. Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu then shared an unbeaten 77-run stand to ensure India won the match and with it sealed the series.

Try to bowl straight

In the post-match show with the broadcaster, Bhuvneshwar lavished praise on Shami and said that with his partner coming into the ODI series in good form, he felt no pressure bowling at the other end.

Talking about his own bowling plan on wickets like Bay Oval, Bhuvi said, “When it comes to swing, yes I am a swing bowler. But if the conditions are not swing-friendly, I try to bowl as straight as possible to make the batsman make a mistake and give me the wicket.”

He also said that they expected Kiwi opener Colin Munro to attack the Indian bowlers from the start. The Indian new-ball pair has got the better of their opponents more often than not sharing 11 wickets between them so far.

Bhuvneshwar shed light on their partnership with Shami and said that bowling dot balls at one end builds one end and the other bowler is then able to pick the wickets. Therefore, if he is not getting the wickets, at least he can bowl dot balls and help his partner take wickets.

Plan while bowling with Bumrah

When asked whether he missed bowling wit Jasprit Bumrah, his usual partner-in-crime, Bhuvneshwar said that communication is the key between them and speaking about what the pitch is doing helps the duo out. He also said that skipper Virat Kohli also helps them out with his tips.

“When I bowl with Bumrah, if I bowl the first over, we communicate what is happening with the pitch. We discuss the field placements and all that. Virat Kohli keeps talking to us about this is what the batsman is doing and you can mix up a few things,” Bhuvneshwar stated while talking on Star Sports.

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