India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said on Friday that Ravichandran Ashwin’s dismissal was the turning point during their chase of 326 to win against England in the first One-Day International at Rajkot, which the hosts lost by nine runs.
Chasing a daunting target of 326 runs to win on a placid track at the newly built Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, India could manage only 316 for nine from their allotted 20 overs.
During India’s chase, Bhuvneshwar scored a quick unbeaten 20 off 16 balls, and expressed after the match that Ashwin’s dismissal hurt India’s chances, as they could have helped the hosts chase the target.
“When Ashwin and I were batting we were confident that if we play till the end that the match will be close and that happened. Unfortunately Ashwin got out but there was still some hope but then we lost unfortunately,” Bhuvneshwar told bcci.tv
He added, “A player plays to win. Unfortunately, we lose sometimes. We lost today but we won the last game and would have liked to carry forward the momentum. It was a close game but unfortunately we lost.”
Bhuvneshwar backed his abilities as a batsman, saying he is used to bat up in the order. “I play the role of an all-rounder in the domestic circuit. I bat in the domestic circuit at No.6 or 7 so am used to batting,” he said.
Talking about the pitch at the new stadium, he said, “The wicket was better for batting but tried to keep it tight while bowling, but gave runs later on. It happens it is part of the game.”
Bhuvneshwar revealed that Yuvraj Singh, one of the key architects in India’s famous win in Lord’s while chasing the same target in 2002, didn’t give any feedback as the team was confident going into the chase on Friday.
“No, he didn’t say anything. No matter how big the target we are always hopeful of chasing it. If that had happened we would have obviously been very happy. If we had won history would have been repeated,” he said.
Talking about India’s strategy while chasing, the 22-year-old said, “When you look at a score like this it is a little difficult. But there are 50 overs, so if you play till the end there is a chance. And there is a powerplay in between as well so it is easy for the batsmen to accelerate then; so the strategy was to play as long as possible and take it is as close as we can.”
Bhuvneshwar said Uttar Pradesh captain and teammate Suresh Raina keeps boosting him.
“We have known each other for a long time so he keeps boosting me. He is an experienced player so keeps advising and guiding me so that helps,” he concluded.
First Published: January 12, 2013, 11:41 am