An emphatic win over Bangladesh in the final warm-up game has boosted India’s confidence but the former champions are yet to finalise plans for their World Cup campaign opener against South Africa, seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said. After losing to New Zealand in the first warm-up, India thrashed Bangladesh by 95 runs in the second and final warm-up game ahead of the World Cup, beginning Thursday.
“It was tough conditions for both batsmen and bowling, but we did well in both departments, so it will give a big boost to the team going into the world cup,” Bhuvneshwar said.
“You always want to start with a win in the World Cup but right now I cannot say what we will be thinking or planning. We have almost a week. When we will practice and have meetings then we will decide what we need to do against them (South Africa) and their individual players.”
Bhuvneshwar believes handling pressure will be the key during the World Cup and said his experience of playing in English conditions will hold him in good stead. “World cup is a big platform. Yes, the pressure will be there but I am excited and confident as I have toured here earlier. I know the England conditions,” he said.
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“In these two warm-ups (against New Zealand and Bangladesh) I acclimatised myself to know what to do in the tournament and what conditions will be.”
Talking about the role of pacers in the World Cup, Bhuvneshwar said: “We all know England conditions help fast bowlers. Our (Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar) role will be crucial.
“We three know as an individual what strength we have and what more we need to do which will help the team. We three share our experience which helps. If it will swing it will give advantage to all. But we will see how conditions turn out to be. If it does, it will be an additional boost for bowlers,” he said.
The 29-year-old fast bowler also has a lot of expectations from his batting and said he is working at the nets to sharpen his skills. “When it comes to batting, I have a lot of expectations from myself. I have played in some crucial matches which have boosted my confidence,” he said.
“I know my ability in batting. I am preparing in the nets so that if the team needs me I can step in.”
Talking about the warm-up game, Bhuvneshwar said: “I think it was really good performance, we got whatever we wanted from this practice match, whether it is batting, bowling or fielding.
“The first aim was to not allow the opposition to chase the target. As an individual, I knew how much help I will get from the wicket, what I need to do to keep it tight. So similarly everyone tried to do what they wanted as an individual during the match.”
It is likely to be a high-scoring World Cup with teams amassing over 350 almost regularly.
India posted 359 for 7 against Bangladesh Tuesday and Bhuvneshwar said a big total on board gives the bowlers the freedom to try out new things.
“Chasing 350-360 is not an easy task but nowadays teams can chase them if they bat well, so it gives an extra confidence when you go to bowl when it is 300 or 330 plus. These are extra liberties to try something new as a bowler,” he said.
“In these kind of flat batting wickets, you want to keep it tight and let the batsmen make mistakes, that’s the general plan and I always try to do that thing.
(With PTI Inputs)