India vs Australia: Sunil Gavaskar expressed concern about Bhuvneshwar Kumar leaking runs in the 19th over in India’s last three T20I losses.
Despite putting up a big total of 208/6 in the first T20I in Mohali, India’s bowlers were not able to defend the target as Australia romped home with four deliveries to spare. Australia needed 55 runs off the last four overs, but Matthew Wade and Tim David took on India’s death bowlers with relative ease and made short work of what should have been a tight chase. Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar spoke about experienced pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar proving expensive yet again when he bowled the penultimate over of the match, and said that is an area of concern for the Rohit Sharma-led side.
“I don’t think there was so much of a question of dew. We didn’t really see the fielders or bowlers trying to use the towel to try and dry their fingers. So I don’t think that’s an excuse at all,” Gavaskar said on Sports Today after the match, speaking on if the toss played a big role in the result.
“It’s just that we didn’t bowl as well. For example, that 19th over, that’s a real concern,” he said.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away 16 runs in the penultimate over in Mohali, leaving Yuzvendra Chahal with just 2 to defend off the 20th.
In the recently concluded Asia Cup, when India suffered back-to-back defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka while defending totals, Bhuvneshwar had bowled the 19th over, giving away 16 and 14 runs respectively in the two games.
Gavaskar pointed out that someone with his experience should be doing a better job at choking the opposition.
“When somebody like a Bhuvneshwar Kumar is going for so many runs every single time, when he is expected.. See, in 18 deliveries he has given in three matches which India have lost against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and now Australia, he has given away 49 runs,” Gavaskar observed.
“It is almost three runs per ball. Somebody with his experience and his calibre, you expect that maybe he will give 35-36 runs in those 18 deliveries. But that’s not what has happened. So that’s really is an area of concern,” he said.
When asked if Harshal Patel’s 18th over saw 22 runs come off it, Gavaskar cut the pacer some slack and said he was returning from an injury layoff.
He said that it is imperative that India’s pacers have overs under the belt before the 2022 T20 World Cup, which gets underway next month.
Gavaskar said that Harshal and Jasprit Bumrah, who has also just recovered from an injury, should have been included in India’s squad for the home ODIs against South Africa as well just to get into the rhythm before the mega event in Australia.