Cape Town: Indian team’s baptism by fire during the tour of South Africa augurs well for the tougher assignments against England and Australia later this year, feels pace spearhead, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
After starting the tour with a narrow 1-2 loss in the Tests, India ended the bilateral series on a high after notching up a thrilling seven-run win in the third T20 International yesterday for a 2-1 result. The visitors had also recorded a dominating 5-1 win series win in the one-dayers.
“We don t want to be too greedy and we are happy with these two trophies. Hopefully next time we will win all the three trophies,” said Kumar, who was awarded the Man of the Series.
This tour has been brilliant, particularly talking about Test series. Yes, we lost two matches, but they were very close. We could have also lost 3-0 or won 2-1 instead. But it gives us confidence in whatever way we have played, and we are ready to go to England and Australia and do better there,” he added.
Kumar said variations and timing were key to his success in T20 cricket.
T20 cricket is all about using variations and timing has to be perfect. Whatever knuckleball I have bowled, I wanted batsmen to go after that. That way you can get wickets and that s one of the main reasons why I have been successful in power plays, he said.
Pointing out the difference in the formats, Kumar said one has to be proactive in the shorter formats of the game.
In Test matches you don t have to do something different as compared to ODI or T20 cricket. Its not much variation but its about line and length. When you come to one-day cricket you look for yorkers and slower ones. It is never easy to switch between formats but it is all about practice and preparation. You need 2-3 overs to adjust when you play but when it comes to T20s, you have to be proactive and you cannot react to what the batsman does, he added.
India s strength in this T20 series has been powerplays. They have looked to dominate with both bat and ball, particularly in the last game as Kumar bowled a tight first spell to leave South Africa at 25/1 in six overs at Newlands yesterday.
However, Kumar said the key to India s success was in bowling well throughout the innings.
Power plays are very important in both formats, but you cannot win matches based on power plays alone. If any team is down 4-5 wickets in the power plays but you still end up giving too many runs in the end, then you cannot win,” he said.
Throughout the tour, Kumar has been the standout bowler for India but pacer didn’t take any credit and attributed his success to the entire bowling unit.
When asked about his omission from the second Test, Kumar brushed it off in jest, instead choosing to revel in the present moment.
I don t know about that (not playing in the second Test at Centurion). I don t want to go back to the Tests, or why I didn’t t play. Its all about team effort. If you talk about that match, there were bowlers who could bowl brilliantly in those conditions, he added.
Indian bowlers picked all 60 wickets on tough surfaces during their narrow 1-2 loss in Tests and Kumar hoped they can dominate the longer format of the game when they tour South Africa next.