Johannesburg: Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Man of the Match in the first T20 International between India and South Africa, on Sunday said that he has been working on the knuckleball for almost one year.
Kumar claimed a five wicket haul at the New Wanderers Stadium on Sunday and helped India win the first T20I against South Africa by 28 runs.
“I enjoy bowling in tough situations. The knuckleball is something I have been working on for almost a year. Nowadays, you need to figure out new ways to get wickets,” Kumar told media in the post-match conference.
Enjoying the high from a 5-1 historical ODI series win against South Africa, Kumar said that the momentum for the T20I series rests with India and the credit for the same goes to the entire team.
“When you win, you forget everything else. And when we went in today, we knew what we wanted to do. Whenever India goes abroad, the reputation is that we are not a good batting side when it comes to playing short bowling. We have tackled that thing really well in this series,” the 28-year-old added.
Meanwhile, Skipper Virat Kohli who was off the field for much of his side’s bowling display, after injuring himself, explained that it is nothing serious.
“The injury was early on in the innings. It was in the glutes while taking a single. Thankfully it wasn’t a hamstring. So, I went off before I would tear a muscle,” Kohli said.
He also lauded Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for their powerful performance.
“Rohit and Shikhar were outstanding at the top. It was a total team batting performance and in the end Bhuvi showing his experience, all in all it was a good team effort. We were looking to do this in T20s for a long. It was one of our most balanced performances. You have to give credit to South Africa for their slog-overs bowling. We were thinking 220 in the 16th over, but when Dhoni got out we had to pull it back. In the end, it was a winning score,” the skipper added.
India now lead the three match T20I series 1-0.
Meanwhile, South African batsman AB de Villiers has been ruled out of the series, owing to an injured left knee.
The second T20I will be played on February 21 in Centurion. (ANI)