"It is a persistent problem" - Aakash Chopra on Bhuvneshwar Kumar's bowling lacking sharpness in the 1st India vs South Africa ODI

Bhuvneshwar Kumar went wicketless in the 1st ODI against South Africa
Bhuvneshwar Kumar went wicketless in the 1st ODI against South Africa
Kartik Iyer

Aakash Chopra has highlighted the persistent lack of rhythm in Bhuvneshwar Kumar's bowling as one of the problem areas for Team India during their defeat in the first ODI against South Africa.

The Indian team allowed the Proteas to reach a massive score of 296/4 in their allotted 50 overs after having reduced them to 68/3 in the 18th over. Bhuvneshwar, who looked largely ineffective, conceded 64 runs in his 10 overs and failed to pick up a wicket.

While reflecting on the Indian bowling effort in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was particularly displeased with Bhuvneshwar's performance. He said:

"Jasprit Bumrah did get Janneman Malan out with the new ball, it was a very good delivery. Bhuvneshwar Kumar - initially alright but after that, the sharpness is not being seen and it is a persistent problem."

The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that the swing bowler has lacked potency in his bowling for a considerable while. Aakash Chopra elaborated:

"It is not that we are seeing this problem now, it is now 12 to 15 months. We haven't seen the best of Bhuvneshwar Kumar thus far and that's a bit of a disappointment if you talk from my viewpoint. Shardul Thakur tries his best but he also couldn't do anything here."
Bhuvneshwar Kumar now looks to be toothless bowler. Nothing in his armoury except first few balls swing and seam#SAVIND

Jasprit Bumrah was the only Indian seamer to apply some pressure on the Proteas batters. Even Shardul Thakur did not look too threatening and conceded 72 in his 10-over spell.

"You are not able to pick wickets in the middle overs" - Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra wants the Indian spinners to be a bit more attacking
Aakash Chopra wants the Indian spinners to be a bit more attacking

Aakash Chopra lamented the lack of wickets from Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal in the middle overs. He explained:

"You are not able to pick wickets in the middle overs, that's been an issue with the Indian team. And then you remember - where is the other wrist-spinner? Ashwin was economical, both spinners gave 53 runs in their 10 overs, but there is no use if the wickets are not there. I am absolutely fine if you give 72 but pick three wickets."

The 44-year-old also questioned KL Rahul for not utilizing the services of Venkatesh Iyer with the ball. Aakash Chopra observed:

"You played Venkatesh Iyer as an additional bowling option. But you didn't get him to bowl. It is beyond my understanding. Why are you playing Venkatesh Iyer if you don't want to give him a bowl? You are not playing Venkatesh Iyer just to bat him at No. 6."
When they picked Venkatesh Iyer as a replacement for Hardik which version of Hardik did they really mean?

It was certainly surprising that Venkatesh Iyer was not given the ball even when the other Indian bowlers were unable to apply too much pressure on the Proteas batters. The Indian captains need to show greater confidence in his abilities if the team management is looking at him as a batting all-rounder in the long run.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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