Veteran India pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar backed young India National Cricket Team captain Rishabh Pant, asserting that the bowlers let him down in the first T20I of the five-match T20I series against the South Africa National Cricket Team.
Rishabh Pant was named as India’s captain for the South Africa T20Is after KL Rahul got ruled out of the series after suffering a groin injury. In the first T20I, India had lost the toss and they were invited to bat first.
Indian batters did an incredible job and they posted 211 runs on the board. However, India’s bowling unit failed to perform well in the match and South Africa batters David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen played sensational knocks to complete the humongous 212-run chase.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference on Saturday, Bhuvneshwar said that a captain is as good as his team. He added that Pant will make improvements and will get better as a captain as the series progresses.
“He’s a young captain and it was his first match. I’m sure he will try to do better and improve as the series progresses. Generally, the captain is as good as the team and it’s a team effort.
“Our bowling did not go off well and let him down. If we did well, then you would have hailed his decision-making skills. I’m sure he will do well,” Bhuvneshwar said at a pre-match press conference.
I try to take up responsibility and focus on improving in every match – Bhuvneshwar Kumar
India fielded a new-look pace attack of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan in the first T20I in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, who have been rested for the entire series.
Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar said that he tries to take responsibility in the absence of Bumrah and Shami. He also stated that his focus is on making improvements in his bowling ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022, which will be played in Australia.
“My target is not any different. I just have to bowl in the same way as in the power play or in the death overs. Yes, in absence of them, I try to take up responsibility, and focus on improving in every match before going to the T20 World Cup,” he said.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar further talked about India’s poor bowling performance in the first T20I and said that the bowlers will come back strong in the next game.
“There wasn’t any big discussion as anyone can have an off day. As a bowling unit, we had an off day but that’s okay we just want to come back in the next match,” Bhuvneshwar said at the pre-match press conference.
“It was the first match of the series and everybody was coming out of the IPL, almost everyone in the team had a good IPL. Everyone knows what needs to be done and things to improve on.
“We are aware that we didn’t bowl well in the first match. So we hope to improve, bowl well and level the series. We still have four matches to go, we have matches in hands to bounce back,” he said.
The second match of the five-match T20 International (T20I) series between Rishabh Pant-led India National Cricket Team and Temba Bavuma-led South Africa National Cricket Team will be played at the Barabati Stadium, Cuttack on Sunday, June 12.
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