Former India bowler Praveen Kumar has claimed that he could catch a batsman by watching his feet and body language and he was just putting his art on display in 2008 tri-series final against Australia. He added that he had done his homework and knew Adam Gilchrist was weak on the fuller deliveries.
Former India fast bowler Praveen Kumar had one of the highest points of his career when he helped India clinch the second Tri-series final in 2008 at Brisbane with a four-wicket haul. Having won the first of the best-of-three finals, India needed to win the second to seal the Tri-series for the first time in history.
Batting first India had set a target of 258, courtesy to a masterclass of 91 runs by Sachin Tendulkar. Given the batting lineup of Australia, the total didn’t look sufficient. However, Praveen had different plans as he toppled Australia's main three - Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, and Michael Clarke to leave Aussies struggling at 32/3. Eventually, India won the match by nine runs.
Praveen insisted that during those days, he could catch a batsman just by looking at his feet and body movement.
"Let me tell you, I could catch a batsman by watching his feet and body language. That moment (Brisbane, 2008) I was just putting on display the art that I have," Praveen said as quoted by TOI.
"You see most things about bowling are simple. I was not thinking about anything. My bowling style dictated the areas I have to pitch and I was watching the wicket and bowling."
Praveen insisted that he had done his homework with the help of the support staff and had made thorough plans for each batsman, having studied them beforehand.
"'Gilchrist paidal tha upar waali ball par' (Gilchrist was vulnerable to the ball that used to be pitched up)," he said.
"Ponting, they used to say, he pulls the ball well. So I said, 'isko pull par hi nikaalna hai' (let us catch him on the pull).”
Highlighting that he has dismissed Ricky Ponting thrice, the former pace bowler explained that the strengths of players can also be their weakness.
“Whatever is the strength of someone, can also be his weakness. I bowled short, he pulled and was caught at short mid-on (by Yuvraj). I have got Ponting out thrice, once in Nagpur - there before he could realise the ball had hit the pad and he was out. It is about catching the batsman, a person. You catch a batsman by how he is playing. You need brains for that. In Ponting's case, I thought let me try a short one," he explained.