Bhuvneshwar Kumar Surpasses Ravichandran Ashwin To Become 3rd Highest Indian Wicket Taker In T20Is

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked four early wickets of South African players Reeza Hendricks, Dwaine Pretorius, Rassie van der Dussen and Wayne Parnell in the 2nd T20I against South Africa. The right-arm swing bowler thus overtook Ravichandran Ashwin to become the third-highest wicket-taker for India in the shortest format of the game.

After India posted a total of 148-6 in the first innings of the second T20I against South Africa, it seemed like a score just above par. To make it a competitive total, the Men in Blue needed their bowlers to be on top of their game and pick up early wickets.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned with figures of 4/13 vs South Africa. (Source: AP)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned with figures of 4/13 vs South Africa. (Source: AP)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar Becomes 3rd Highest Wicket Taker for India In T20Is After Yuzvendra Chahal, And Jasprit Bumrah By Surpassing Ravichandran Ashwin

It was the veteran pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar who stepped up to the task as he bowled a superb first spell to chip in with three early wickets, before coming back again in the 18th over to chip in with one more wicket in the last delivery of his fourth over.

Yuzvendra Chahal with Ravichandran Ashwin (ANI/PTI)
Yuzvendra Chahal with Ravichandran Ashwin (ANI/PTI)
In doing so, the right-arm fast bowler became the third-highest wicket-taker for India in T20I history with 63 wickets in 61 games. He thus overtook Ravichandran Ashwin, who has 61 wickets in his T20I career. Yuzvendra Chahal is still the highest wicket-taker for India in T20Is with 69 scalps. Jasprit Bumrah, who has been rested for the series against South Africa, stands second in the list with 67 scalps.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar Registered Figures Of 4/13- Best Bowling Figures In A Losing Cause In T20Is

Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck right in the very first over of Proteas innings. On the last ball of the opening over, he bamboozled opener Reeza Hendricks with a beautiful in-swinging delivery that landed on a good length and nipped back in. Reeza Hendricks was beaten as the ball took an inside edge onto the pad and then uprooted the off stump.

In his second over, he brought in a smart change in pace, as he bowled a knuckleball to Dwaine Pretorius. He went across the line and miscued the ball high up in the air. Avesh Khan, who was fielding at deep mid-wicket, took a comfortable catch to give Bhuvneshwar Kumar his second wicket of the game.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Image: BCCI

On the third ball of the sixth over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the wicket of Rassie van der Dussen, who scored a match-winning knock for the Proteas in the first T20I. He bowled a back-of-a-length delivery which nipped back in and he played it on thus uprooting the off stump. He came back in the 18th over to end his spell with the wicket of Wayne Parnell, whom he got out clean bowled.

In the first innings, India registered a total of 148. Shreyas Iyer’s 40 and a late charge from Dinesh Karthik (30* off 21) in the final overs helped India recover from a tough situation. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s stupendous spell of 4/13 went in vain as the visitors rode on the brilliance of Heinrich Klaasen.Heinrich Klaasen scored 81 from 46 balls, including seven fours and five sixes at a strike rate of 176.09 as South Africa chase the target with 10 balls to spare and took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 3 for 10 with the new ball left South Africa wounded at 29 for three at the end of the powerplay. This was the first time in 10 years that Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked three wickets in the powerplay. His last was against Pakistan in Bengaluru back in 2012.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed 4/13 – the best bowling figures in a losing cause in a T20 international. The India and Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer broke his own record – 3/9 against Pakistan on his T20I debut back in 2012.

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