PALLEKELE, Aug 25: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who played a crucial role along with Mahendra Singh Dhoni in rescuing India after a startling collapse in the second ODI, says the former captain advised him to build his knock like he does in Tests.
Bhuvneshwar scored 53 and raised a 100-run partnership with Dhoni for the unbeaten eight wicket to guide India to a three-wicket win over the hosts last night.
�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,� Bhuvneshwar said at the post match press conference.
�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,� he said.
Lankan off-spinner Akila Dananjaya took six for 54, his maiden ODI five-wicket haul, to trigger an Indian middle order collapse after an aggressive start from Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.
�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,� Bhuvneshwar said.
Asked how he countered Dananjaya, who was on fire, Bhuvneshwar 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 explained. � PTI