'It's not easy to bowl in the death' - Rohit Sharma backs Bhuvneshwar Kumar ahead of SA series
Rohit Sharma has backed the underfire Bhuvneshwar Kumar ahead of the South Africa series.
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The Indian team led by Rohit Sharma answered most of their batting worries in the recently-concluded series against Australia. But their death-bowling worries have transformed into a never-ending affair as veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar had another forgetful outing against the Aussies in the final T20I in Hyderabad. Nevertheless, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has come to the aid of his experienced campaigner with hopes of improving the team's death bowling in the upcoming fixtures.
Although the Indian team clinched victory in the series finale, Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded 21 runs in the 18th over of the first innings, with Tim David taking full toll of some wayward bowling. He had a miserable time in the recently-concluded Asia Cup but has got the backing of the Indian skipper, who highlighted the strenuous task of bowling at the death.
"We know that he has had more good days than the bad days in the last so many years. Yes, of late it has not been the kind of performance that he wants but that can happen to any of the bowlers. You can see the opposition as well, it's not easy to bowl in the death," Rohit said of the veteran fast bowler in a post-match press conference.
Rohit further illustrated the importance of providing the veteran pacer with more options at the death, which would help him regain his confidence. The team relies on the experience of the 32-year-old, who is a proven match winner with a track record of annihilating batters with his death bowling expertise in the past.
"We've been working on some execution plans and hopefully we can give him more options to bowl in the death and he'll be as good as he was before. And he is not short on confidence. We want him to come back as quickly as possible because he has bowled those difficult overs in the past. As a team, we believe in his ability. Time for us to show that faith in him and keep backing his skill set," said the Indian captain.
Rohit Sharma bats for more time for Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel
The flamboyant opener also touched upon the return of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel to the team. The duo returned after missing the Asia Cup tournament due to injuries and has looked sluggish so far. Rohit stated that the returning players will need some time to get back in rhythm.
"Those three (Bumrah, Harshal, and Axar Patel) who haven't played much cricket in the past are playing now, so you got to give some time to them and get them back (in rhythm) as quickly as possible. It's just about getting their confidence and with the kind of individuals they are, I don't think it will be too long," Rohit added.