Team India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s heroics with the ball went in vain as South Africa went 2-0 up in he five-match series with a four-wicket win at Cuttack on Sunday (June 12). Bhuvneshwar claimed 4/13 – the best bowling figures in a losing cause in a T20 international.
The India and Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer broke his own record – 3/9 against Pakistan on T20 debut back in 2012. He also became the third-highest wicket-taker for India in T20I history with 63 wickets in 61 games. He overtook Ravichandran Ashwin, who has 61 wickets in his T20I career.
Yuzvendra Chahal is still the highest wicket-taker for India in T20Is with 69 scalps. Jasprit Bumrah, who has been rested for the series against South Africa, stands second in the list with 62 scalps.
Bhuvneshwar struck in the first over. On the last ball of the opening over, he beat opener Reeza Hendricks as the ball took an inside edge onto the pad and then uprooted the off stump. In his second over, he brought in a smart change in pace, as he bowled a knuckle ball to Dwaine Pretorius.
On the third ball of the sixth over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the wicket of Rassie van der Dussen, who scored a match-winning fifty for the Proteas in the first T20I.
A distraught skipper Rishabh Pant made no bones about the uninspiring performance of the two leading spinners Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, urging them to come good after another meek surrender at the hands of South Africa in the second T20 International on Sunday.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar the swing king is back #Bhuvi #INDvSA pic.twitter.com/7383fHIGEN
— Cricket Addictor (@AbdullahNeaz) June 12, 2022
While Axar could be given only one over in which he conceded 19 runs, Chahal was equally bad as he was smashed for 49 runs in four overs. In the two games, Axar has given away 59 runs in five overs while Chahal has gone for 75 in six overs.
“The spinners have (need) to come (perform) better into the game,” Pant said at the post-match presentation ceremony without elaborating much.
He admitted that a total of 148 for 6 was probably 15 runs short despite the track being two-paced in nature. “I think (while) batting, we were 10-15 runs short,” he said. “Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his 4/13) and all other fast bowlers though bowled very well. We were short in the second half and the things did not go our way.
“The bowlers started really well, but after 10-11 overs, we did not bowl well and that’s where the game changed. We thought we were going to do similar things (as the South African bowlers). In the last three matches, we will look to win,” Pant added.
(with PTI inputs)