India won the 2nd match of the ODI series from the jaws of defeat against Sri Lanka to make it 2-0. This was largely possible due to Deepak Chahar’s 69* and his unbroken 84-run stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar(19) who took India home by 3 wickets with 5 balls to spare.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, one of the architects of India’s most thrilling run chases in recent times said the aim was to take the game as deep as possible. Interestingly, he was part of a similar chase in 2017 at Pallekele where he and MS Dhoni forged an unbeaten 100 stand to clinch the game for India against Sri Lanka.
In last night’s game at Colombo, he came to join Deepak Chahar at the crease at the fall of the 7th wicket, India still needed 83 off 89 balls. But the pair maintained cool under pressure and used their experience of playing under situations to get India over the line.
In the post-match press conference, India’s bowling pace spearhead said he & Chahar were keen on taking the match till the end and not worry about winning or losing. He added that Chahar played an important role in keeping the asking rate in check.
“The situation was similar to that match (Pallekele 2017). We aimed to bat till the last over. We wanted to bat as deep as possible,” said Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the post-match press conference.
Highest 8th wicket partnerships for India in ODIs –
1. MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 100* vs Srilanka, 2017
— Athul Sreevatsan (@AthulSreevatsan) July 20, 2021
“We didn’t think at any specific time that let’s take it on from here. We were batting one ball at a time. At any stage (during the partnership), we thought about winning or losing as the plan was to keep batting till the end and play according to the situation. Deepak [Chahar] wasn’t letting the required run-rate climb much above six and was playing his shots,” added Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has his name in the top two entries in India’s highest eighth-wicket partnerships.
Chahar has the capability to become an all-rounder for India- Bhuvneshwar Kumar
On India sending Deepak Chahar ahead of him, Bhuvi said that coach Rahul Dravid was the one who took that decision. He added that Dravid knew Chahar’s batting capabilities after having time with him as India “A” coach.
“Look, he’s played with our coach Rahul Dravid before for India ‘A’ and some other series and he scored there as well. So, he (Dravid) knew he (Chahar) could bat and he can hit a few balls. So that was his call and the way he batted proved him right. We all know he can bat, he has done it many times. It wasn’t a tough call but it’s just good to see the way he scored runs.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 20, 2021
Bhuvneshwar said that Deepak has the potential to become a genuine all-rounder but felt it is too early to call him one. He believes that Chahar needs to continue what he did in the 2nd ODI for a long period of time.
“Yes, surely he has a lot of capability as he showed today. I am sure he has the ability and if he continues working on it then, of course, India will get another all-rounder,” said Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
“It is perhaps a bit early to say all-rounder but with the ability he has, the way he practices for it, always by keeping possible match situations in mind. I am sure if he continues to do it, India has got another brilliant bowler who can bat in the lower order,” added Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
With the series already decided, the teams will play the 3rd ODI on the 23rd of July. Though it is a dead rubber, it still contains valuable ICC ODI Super League points which is especially important for Sri Lanka at this stage.
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