Rohit Sharma, captain of India, concedes that their death overs bowling remains a problem, but he is optimistic that Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel can rediscover their form before the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia next month.
Even a 2-1 series triumph over world champions in 20-overs cricket, Australia, could not hide India’s inability to limit runs in the closing overs, which also hindered their Asia Cup campaign earlier this month.
Bhuvneshwar, renowned for his deft bowling in the closing overs, has been a shell of his former self in recent years, but he remains on the World Cup roster.
“We know that he’s had more good days than bad days in the last so many years,” Rohit said after India clinched the series against Australia on Sunday.
“Of late it’s been not the kind of performance that he would want, but that can happen to any of the bowlers.
“I don’t think he’s short on confidence. You can have bad games but what is really important is how you come back from those bad games.
“We want him to come back as quickly as possible.”
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Rohit was also cautious with Harshal, who was coming back from a rib injury and couldn’t live up to his reputation as a sneaky bowler in the late overs.
In the series against Australia, the 31-year-old bowled a total of eight overs and gave up 99 runs without getting a single wicket.
“He missed cricket for close to two months. Whenever a bowler goes through that injury phase and makes a comeback, it’s not easy,” Rohit said.
“We have not judged him by how he has performed in these three games because we know his quality, what he can do with the ball. He has bowled some really tough overs in the past.
“You want players to keep improving and we can see that happening. I’m pretty sure he is not too far from his best.”