By B. Shrikant
Hyderabad, Sep 26 (IANS): In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and with injuries to other key bowlers, there was a lot of pressure on seasoned pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar to take charge.
Bhuvi did that well in patches but in the last few matches, his bowling has not been up to the mark, especially in the death overs as India have conceded a lot of runs in the last part of the innings.
In the two matches that he got to play against Australia, Bhuvneshwar gave away 31 runs (15 and 16 runs) in the two overs he bowled in the death overs in the first match of the series at Mohali.
He was dropped for the Nagpur match but was brought back in the third at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Sunday.
But his troubles continued as the seasoned pacer from Uttar Pradesh conceded 21 runs in his final over.
However, despite these troubles, skipper Rohit Sharma on Sunday expressed his faith in the seasoned pacer and said he needs to be given more time to get his rhythm back.
"With Bhuvi, it's important that we give him that space because when you have a guy like him in the team and the quality that he brings, we know that he's had more good days and bad days," Rohit said in the post-match press conference on Sunday night.
"Honestly speaking, in the last so many years we have seen, yes of late, it's been not the kind of performance he would want but that can happen to any of the bowlers. You can see the opposition as well, it's not easy to bowl in the death. Yeah, we have been working on some plans and hopefully, we can give him more options to bowl in the death and then he will be as good as he was before," Rohit added.
He said the loss of confidence is not a problem for the 32-year-old pacer from Meerut.
"I don't see he is short on confidence. Whenever I speak to him, the confidence is there. It's just that you can have bad games but it's important how you 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, so he's done it, it's there in his mind and it's not that he's completely forgotten what he's done as a bowler in the past and it's just that he needs to bring that out confidently and things will happen for him," said the 35-year-old skipper.
He said the team and the team management have belief in Bhuvneshwar and will give him time to work out his problems.
"As a team, as management, we believe in his ability and we know that a guy like him who's more often than not done the job for us, can have a few bad games but that doesn't mean he doesn't have the quality anymore. He definitely has it in him," said the skipper.
"It's time to show faith in him and keep backing his skills and keep backing what he wants to execute and what he wants to do from our side."
About the problem of leaking runs in the death bowling, he said they are talking with Bhuvi and other bowlers on how to tackle those scenarios.
Rohit had brought back Bhuvneshwar for the Hyderabad match, hoping the seamer would be able to use his experience of the conditions because of his lengthy stint with the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"Yes, we are trying to work out what other things we can do because we are bowling in the death... you can't be predictable, you need to have options to bowl on both sides of the ground and set the field according.
"So those are the things we are talking to him and, for someone with that experience, it will be easy for him to grasp all that knowledge that is out there," said Rohit, clearly indicating that he would like to back his senior-most bowler for some more time.
But Rohit does not have the luxury of a lot of time because the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia is round the corner and there are only a few matches to decide the playing XI.