India’s former batting coach Sanjay Bangar reckons Bhuvneshwar Kumar had got his swing back in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand.
Kumar’s form in the recent past has been a worry for the Indian team but the swing master had a decent series against the Kiwis.
Kumar went wicketless in the first match of the T20 World Cup against Pakistan and then he was dropped from the team’s playing XI in the next four matches. The right-arm fast bowler from Uttar Pradesh scalped three wickets in three matches and bowled with an average of 25 and an economy rate of 7.50 against the Blackcaps.
Kumar has all the experience under his belt and he was able to get his swing back in the powerplay overs, which is the most lethal weapon in his armory.
Bangar said while talking to Star Sports, “Can’t take anything away from somebody like Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Whenever he’s played and he’s bowled with that new ball, he’s got his swing back. The wicket that he took in the first match of Daryl Mitchell was a dream and it augers really well for the Indian team because he’s somebody who can give you those initial breakthroughs in the first six overs inside the powerplay and that sets any opposition on the back foot”.
On the other hand, Harshal Patel made an impressive debut as he scalped two wickets and conceded only 25 runs in the second ODI. Patel took a total of four wickets in two matches and made great use of his slow balls.
Sanjay Bangar said, “How Harshal Patel took his chance in his debut match was really impressive because he’s someone who’s been known to rely a lot on his slow ball variations, and in the matches, there was a lot of dew. Despite that, he overcame the challenge and bowled really well with a wet ball and still used his variations, with cutters and slow bouncers. I felt that was a big plus for the Indian team as well.”
Meanwhile, India was clinical throughout the series against New Zealand and came up with a collective effort. The hosts won all three matches convincingly as they dominated in their own conditions.
Bangar added, “They have been very professional, they have been put under the pump a bit by the New Zealand openers but the way Indian spinners have responded in the middle overs has been fantastic”.
The former Indian all-rounder also heaped praise on the spin duo of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin who scalped four and three wickets respectively. Both of them gave nothing away in the middle overs.
Bangar concluded, “Ashwin and Axar Patel both bowling well in tandem has really worked well for the Indian team in the middle overs. When they were chasing, I felt that the form that both the openers have been clinical for the Indian team performances in the series so far.”