Indian pacer Shardul Thakur has revealed that the seasoned campaigner Bhuvneshwar Kumar told the bowlers to use slower balls after he felt in the first over that the ball was gripping on the surface. The Indian bowlers were brilliant in the last five overs as they restricted the visitors to 164.
The first two games threw up two contrasting fortunes for both India and England. While England made use of the pace and bounce in the first game and used pacers extensively who could hit the hard lengths well, India used slower balls to perfection in the second T20I.
Going into the final five overs, England were expected to score at least 180, given their explosive batting. But Indian pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur and Hardik Pandya made perfect use of the conditions and didn't give any pace for England batsmen to work with, conceding only 34 in the last five overs. Not to forget, India played only five bowlers of which two were all-rounders Washington Sundar and Hardik Pandya, which exemplifies the remarkable Indian bowling effort at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.
It has been revealed by Shardul Thakur, who himself bowled different varieties of slower balls in his final two overs, that Indian bowlers took cue from Bhuvneshwar Kumar early on in the game to not give much pace on the ball on a pitch that was gripping.
“Bhuvneshwar bowled the first over. He immediately conveyed to all the bowlers and the captain that the ball is gripping nicely on the pitch, so the slower one will work well. We changed our plans immediately and we thought bowling maximum slower ones on this pitch will give a lot of trouble for the batsmen to play their shots. And that is what happened, they faced difficulties in playing shots and we got wickets also along with that,” said Thakur after the game, reported HT.
Shardul is one of the few Indian pacers who uses cross-seam deliveries a lot and he stated that it's a very good variation on dry pitches in India.
“We play a lot on dry pitches in India. When we bowl cross-seam, it sometimes hits on the seam and on the hemisphere at other times. Even the bowlers don't know if that ball will bounce or skid. So, I think it is a very good variation to use especially on dry pitches,” he said.
Thakur, who has been been on the spree of changing perceptions about himself as a cricketer from the Australia tour onwards, added that mixing up cross-seamers with seam-ups is a very good idea in India.
“The experience I have got from the games I have played in the IPL or for the country, especially in Indian conditions, I have come to the conclusion that if we keep using cross-seam deliveries along with seam-up deliveries, they will be quite effective,” he added.