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Bhuvneshwar Kumar (left) said that MS Dhoni had asked him to play his natural game, like he does in Tests IANS

With visitors India surviving a true scare form Akila Dhananjaya, it was mostly a joint effort from former skipper MS Dhoni, along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, whose patient 100-run stand for the eight wicket allowed India to notch up a deserving three-wicket win over hosts Sri Lanka in the second of the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series at the Pallekele International Stadium in Kandy on Thursday. Bhuvneshwar said that Dhoni had asked him to play his natural game, like he does in Tests, and also advised him not to take any extra pressure as the target was well getable at the situation. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka 2017 2nd ODI at Kandy

“When I went in to bat, MS told me to play my natural game like I play in Test cricket and don’t take any pressure as we had a lot of overs at that time. We knew if we played them out we would chase easily. I knew there is nothing to lose in this situation as we were already seven down. I was just thinking that I can play and that I have to support MS as much as I can. And that s what I tried to do,” saud Bhuvneshwar during hte post-match press conference, as reported by 1

“It was a little surprising because we had a very good opening partnership. Then 3-4 wickets fell quickly so it was a bit of a panic situation for us. There was no message as such from the dressing room or MS Dhoni. The only thing was they wanted me to play as long as possible. I also wanted to do the same thing because that was the only chance to win if I could play all those 47 overs. That was my plan,” added Bhuvneshwar. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: India vs Sri Lanka 2017 2nd ODI at Kandy

Speaking on his plans against Dananjay, he said, “I had a plan against him. He is an off-spinner but he was also bowling leg spinners and googlies so it was a surprise for us. I just wanted to play him for the wrong one or the googlies, which he was bringing in to me. And whatever was going away from me I wasn t really worried about that.”

“Whatever wickets he took that was on the googly, the incoming delivery, so my plan was to counter his incoming deliveries. Initially it was a bit difficult to read him from the hand but later on when I played him for 10-15 balls I could read his variations,” he added.

On being asked about the lifelines both Bhuvneshwar and Dhoni recieved during their stand, he said, “It was a normal plan because we knew that we didn t need to do anything different. We tried that whatever opportunity we get for singles or doubles we will not leave that because by adding singles we wouldn t reach a stage of needing 6-7 runs per over as we didn t have many batsmen left. We weren t running extra hard or trying to do anything special. We just played normally.”

“MS said play as you want to play. So at one particular stage I felt that I could play some attacking but risk free shots on which I had full confidence. So it s not like that he gave me any responsibility or asked me to play any big shots. It s just that the stage was such that I had confidence on myself that if I get such a ball I can hit it,” he added.

Speaking on his maiden ODI half-century, he said, “I never thought in my dreams that I would score fifty in One-dayers. Not fifty but match winning knock because One Day is a kind of format which doesn t suit my batting as I am not the kind of batsman who can hit big sixes. But that kind of situation was perfect for me because it was totally a Test match situation. Thanks to Sanjay Bangar, he was working really hard on me during the Test series. Whenever I go into the nets Bangar helps me to counter those things, like I have to go through the last session of a Test. So it was same kind of situation and that was a bit familiar for me.”