Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be playing on his home ground Kanpur in the final ODI © AFP

By Saumojyoti S Choudhury

Kanpur: Nov 26, 2013

Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar feels a win in the third and deciding One-Day International (ODI) against West Indies on Wedesday will raise the morale of the team ahead of a tough tour to South Africa, starting in December.

The third ODI at Kanpur holds great significance for both India and West Indies as the series is currently tied at 1-1 after the visitor’s secured a close two-wicket win in the last game at Visakhapatnam. India had won the first match by six wickets at Kochi.

“Tomorrow’s match will be a crucial one. It is important in the context of the South Africa series. Our morale would be high going into South Africa tour if we can win the series,” Bhuvneshwar said at the pre-match press conference at the Green Park Stadium, which is hosting an international game after nearly four years.

Giving special significance to the match, Bhuvneshwar said he was eyeing an much-improved performance at his home ground.

“From my personal point of view, if I perform well tomorrow my confidence would be high going into the South Africa tour,” the pacer from Meerut said.

“The stadium has changed a lot since I played here the last time. It feels proud to play in your home ground, at a ground from where you started your Ranji Trophy career.”

West Indies have been completely outplayed by India in the tour till the last match which the visitor’s won chasing a challenging a 289-run target.

Soon after West Indies levelled the ODI rubber 1-1, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said dew played a major factor in deciding the outcome of the match at Visakhapatnam.

“We accepted dew to be there is the last match but dew is not an excuse for our defeat,” Bhuvneshwar said.

After complete dominance, India now face the prospect of a rare series loss at the hands of West Indies, but Bhuvneshwar said they are not under any pressure.

“We are not under any pressure because they [West Indies] came here to play and win. It is good for the series that it is tied at 1-1. Our morale is high because the last match was a close affair,” he said.

After sitting out for nearly a year, Zaheer Khan made a comeback into the Indian Test squad for the South Africa tour and Bhuvneshwar welcomed the veteran pacer’s inclusion.

Zaheer’s comeback is good for the team. He has been our main bowler for a long time. We can learn a lot from him [in South Africa],” he said.