Victory in second ODI has boosted our confidence - Bhuvneshwar Kumar
After a batting collapse, Indian captain MS Dhoni produced a superlative unbeaten knock of 92 runs and helped to push the total to 247.
The bowlers then backed up Dhoni’s innings by picking regular wickets and bowling South Africa out for 225 runs, securing a 22-run win to level the series 1-1.
Kumar admitted that the efforts of Dhoni and the lower-order in the second ODI has given the players plenty of confidence.
“The atmosphere was always normal, even when we were not winning matches.
“But after the victory in the last match there is certainly a positive vibe in the team.
“MS Dhoni’s knock gave the team a lot of confidence in the previous game.
“But in that game a lot of our bowlers also faced close to 25-30 balls, which helped them figure out how the pitch was playing.”
After drawing the series level, Kumar is hoping that the team can continue the momentum by claiming a win in the third ODI in Rajkot on Sunday.
“In a five-match series, it is always difficult to make a comeback if you lose two matches in a row.
“But the way we came back in the last game and won it was commendable.
“That win has brought in a lot of confidence in the side.
“We were down in the first innings, losing a lot of wickets on the trot, but we made a good comeback to win the match.
“Now we are riding high on confidence.
“The rest of the matches are very vital for us and if we win this match, there will be a lot more confidence in the side.”
With three wickets from his spell in the second ODI, Kumar played a good hand in helping India restrict South Africa.
However, in the recent past, Kumar has unable to produce the same quality of swing bowling he was able to generate early in his career.
Reasoning that he needs the right conditions to aid his swing bowling, the 25-year-old added that he was looking to become a better bowler in the death overs.
“I don’t think there has been a change in my bowling role.
“Being a swing bowler and bowling at the death is just an added facet in my bowling.
“I used to bowl a lot at the death while bowling in the IPL but it serves as a confidence booster that I can do a lot more with the ball at the start of the innings and at the death.
“It is good to bowl with the new ball and the old ball.
“I don’t think I have lost my swing.
“I have told this in the past as well that I need proper conditions to assist my swing bowling as well.
“If I have conditions on offer, I would swing the ball a lot more than the rest of the bowlers.”
With all to play for in the remaining three ODIs, India and South Africa will look to put their best foot forward to secure a series win.
Kumar reckons that the Indian bowling attack has a good knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the South African batsmen.
“Obviously there are a lot of observations going on in the field and the players always chip in with ideas and ways to get the opposition out.
“There are always inputs coming in from everywhere, be it the batsmen or the bowlers.
“We have an idea as to what their strong points are and where they are weak.”
From 10 ODIs in 2015, Kumar has taken 12 wickets at an average of 28.16, while striking every 36.7 balls.
© Cricket World 2015