‘He was special in the whole series’: Mark Boucher lavishes praise on India star | Cricket

The fifth and final T20I between India and South Africa at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, was abandoned due to rain. Before the action was interrupted by rain, India was 28/2 in 3.3 overs, with Shreyas Iyer (0*) and Rishabh Pant (1*). With this, the series ended 2-2 and the trophy was shared by both sides. (Read also | ‘Right now he’s just low on confidence’: Approaching T20 WC, Sunil Gavaskar names India ‘impact player’

Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalped 6 wickets in the series, including four in the second T20I match. He was also named Player of the Series. After Bhuvneshwar’s stellar performance, South Africa head coach Mark Boucher lavishly praised the senior bowler.

“Bhuvi was special in this whole series because we ran into quality bowling.” Bhuvneshwar took 6 wickets in the series, the joint second highest in the series. He was also frugal, yielding to 6.07 economy. As he bowled the majority of his overs in the power play with only two outfield players outside the circle.

His strongest performance came at Cuttack in the second T20I, where his bowling performance was heroic, but not enough to stop the South African batters as they dismantled the spinners. In that game, he finished 4/13 from his four overs, knocking over the stumps of three top Proteas batsmen – Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen and Wayne Parnell – and letting Dwaine Pretorius catch a slower ball.

Bhuvneshwar also set a number of key records over the course of the series, including matching the most wickets taken in the power play by a bowler in all T20Is, and the most South African wickets taken in the format. His performances as the spearhead of a young tempo attack earned him a lot of praise.

“He put us under pressure in Powerplays and except for one game (Delhi) where we got off to a good start, they dominated us with both ball and bat in Powerplays.”

India did well in all power plays in the series, but was often dominated in the middle and final stages of the innings. However, due to Bhuvneshwar’s strong starts in the last two matches played, India had the opportunity to put in the screws using the spinners in the middle overs, leading them to a win.

Bhuvneshwar has been awarded the vice-captain of India in the tour to Ireland later this month. He hopes this strong spell will be the start of his bid to become a starting player in the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.


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