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"Important we give him that space" - Rohit on Bhuvneshwar's struggles at death

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Last updated on 26 Sep 2022 | 05:23 AM
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"Important we give him that space" - Rohit on Bhuvneshwar's struggles at death

The Indian skipper is also not too worried about Harshal's form and feels it won't be too long before he returns back to his best

India might have won the T20I series against Australia but the team management would surely be worried about their death bowling. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been brilliant with the new ball, has consistently been taken to the cleaners in death overs. Meanwhile, returning from respective injuries, Harshal Patel and Jasrpit Bumrah too didn’t have a great series.

In the series-decider on Sunday (September 25), Bumrah conceded 50 runs in his four overs, while Harshal bowled only two overs, giving away 18 runs for one wicket. Overall, Bumrah picked up only one wicket in two games and leaked runs at 12.16, while Harshal too got just one wicket in three matches and conceded runs at 12.37.

However, Rohit isn't too worried about Harshal's form and feels it won't be too long before he returns back to his best. "Coming back from an injury is never easy. He missed cricket for close to two months. Whenever bowlers go through an injury phase and come back, it's never easy, so we've not really judged him on how he has performed in these three games because we know his quality.

"He has bowled some tough overs for us in the past, and also for his franchise. We believe in his quality, whatever he has as a bowler. It's important to keep showing that faith and I'm pretty sure he's also trying to rectify those mistakes. He's working hard on his bowling.

"As I see, in the nets, whenever we do have our training sessions, he's always working on his skills which is what you want. You want players to go out and keep improving. We talk about it all the time; we can see that happening. So, I'm pretty sure he's not far from his best."

Then there is Bhuvneshwar. The experienced campaigner has been terrible at the death, leaking 15, 14 and 19 runs in the 19th overs in less than three weeks. India were defending a total in each of those three encounters and went on to lose every single one of them. In the first innings of the third T20I against Australia, the 32-year-old bowled the 18th over and was hammered for 21 runs. 

"It's important we give him that space. Because when you gave a guy like him in the team and the quality that he brings, we know that he's had more good days than bad days honestly speaking, in the last so many years we've seen. Yes, of late it's been not the kind of performance that he would want, but that can happen to any of the bowlers,” said Rohit.

"You can see the opposition as well, it's not easy to bowl at the death. But we've been working on some execution plans and hopefully we can give him more options to bowl in the death and then he'll be as good as he was before. I don't think he's short in confidence, whenever I speak to him the confidence is there, you can have bad games but it's important to come back from that, and we want him to come back as quickly as possible, because he's bowled those difficult overs for us in the past.”

India are scheduled to play three more T20Is before leaving for Australia for the T20 World Cup. Going forward, it won’t come as a huge surprise if India use Bhuvneshwar only with the new ball, leaving Bumrah and Harshal to bowl at the death. Young left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh, who was rested for this series, will be back for the three T20I against South Africa and will give Rohit another option at the death. 

"From our side, we're trying to work out what other things we can do. Because when you're bowling in the death you can't be predictable, you need to have options to bowl on both sides of the ground and sort fields accordingly. Those are the things we're talking to him (Bhuvneshwar) about. Someone with that experience, it'll be easy for him to grasp all the knowledge that is out there.

"He’s done it, it's there in his mind, it's not that he will completely forget what he's done as a bowler in the past, it's just that he needs to bring that out confidently and things will happen for him. As a team, as management, we believe in his ability, we know a guy like him who more often than not has done the job for us can have a few bad games. It doesn't mean that he doesn't have quality anymore. He definitely has it in him, just that for us it's time for us to show faith in him and keep backing his skillset, what he wants to execute."

Rohit also spoke about giving more batting time to Dinesh Karthik. India have been alternating between Karthik and Rishabh Pant in their playing XI. While the latter was given the nod ahead of the veteran player in the Asia Cup, Karthik was picked for all three matches against Australia.

“I wanted both of these guys to have a number of games under their belt before the World Cup. When we went to the Asia Cup both of these guys were in the fray to play all games. But I just feel that Dinesh needs a little more game time. He hardly got to bat (this series). Just maybe three balls. So that’s not enough time.

“Pant also needs game time obviously. But looking at how this series was it was important for me to just stick to that consistent batting lineup.” India take on South Africa for a three-match T20I series, starting Wednesday and Rohit said Karthik and Pant's inclusion in the playing xi will depend upon the situation.

“I don't know what we're gonna do against South Africa. We just need to go and see their bowling, what sort of bowling lineup they'll play with, and who are the best guys for us who can handle that bowling lineup. It all depends on that. We want to be flexible in our batting. So if the situation or if the thing demands that we need a left-hander, we will bring in a left-hander if we need a right-hander, we will continue to do that. 

"But we'll try and manage those guys pretty carefully. I do understand that they need game time before the World Cup but there are only 11 players you can play, unfortunately."

(With inputs from PTI)

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