Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munroe. (Source: PTI)
Shikhar Dhawan was all praise for Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the way he performed in India’s second ODI against New Zealand. Bhuvneshwar took three wickets, two of which came in the first seven overs and helped India restrict the visitors to 230/9. India chased down that total with four wickets and six wickets to spare and levelled the three-match series 1-1.
Dhawan, who scored 68 in the second ODI, said in the post-match press conference that as far bowling at the death is concerned, Bhuvneshwar is the best in the world. “He is playing on a very high level and I feel that his control of the ball is very good,” said Dhawan, “Even when he is bowling a slower ball or a knuckle ball, he makes sure he is pitching in the right areas. Even when he comes in the death overs, he is the best bowler in the world, the way he bowls yorkers. I have seen him in IPL and for India and he has been doing it consistently. He has got a lot of belief in himself and that is just showing out there.”
Dhawan said that India’s bowling performance is one the main reasons why they were able to secure a win in Pune. “The bowlers did half the job for us by restricting them (New Zealand) to 230. The pressure that is there chasing 230 is obviously lesser than when the target is 280 or 300,” said the Indian opener, “We played the new ball better than them. We didn’t lose (too many) wickets. There wasn’t any seam movement by our bowlers but they played a very good, tight line and did the job for us.”
Dinesh Karthik remained unbeaten on 64. (Source: AP)
Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik played the anchors for India in the chase. Although his opening partner Rohit Sharma was dismissed early on, Dhawan stitched together a 57-run partnership with Virat Kohli. He then made a 66-run partnership with Dinesh Karthik for the fourth wicket that set India on the path to victory. After Dhawan’s dismissal, Karthik batted on and remained unbeaten on 64. Karthik showed that he could be a potential problem to India’s instability at the no. 4 position.
“Dinesh has done a lot of hard work,” said Dhawan, “He has made so many runs in domestic cricket and the reward for that is that he got a place in the Indian team.” Dhawan said that Karthik remains “one of the best middle-order batsmen” in the country. “Today he played such a good knock and his runs were very useful in the previous match also. He also rotates the strike very well and that takes a lot of pressure on the other batsmen. For example, I was not able to rotate the strike as well as I wanted but Dinesh was doing that at the other end because of which I was not feeling too much pressure.”