Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rohit Sharma
T20 World Cup

Rohit backs pacers to come good despite recent struggles

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Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has backed his pacers to find their bowling form again, despite some expensive spells in recent times.

The India captain has come out in defence of Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who have struggled for rhythm and consistent performances in the past couple of series.

Harshal recently returned from an injury but went for runs in his comeback series against Australia. In the three-match T20I series, Harshal registered figures of 0/49, 0/32 and 1/18 in Mohali, Nagpur and Hyderabad respectively.

Rohit though is backing Patel to find his groove soon after a prolonged absence from injury. Speaking at the post-match conference in Hyderabad after India's 2-1 series victory, the Indian skipper said, "Coming back from an injury is never easy. He missed cricket for close to two months.

"Whenever bowlers go through an injury phase and come back, it's never easy, so we've not really judged him on how he has performed in these three games because we know his quality."

Rohit also backed Harshal's prowess in the tricky overs to shine through, adding, "He has bowled some tough overs for us in the past, and also for his franchise. We believe in his quality, whatever he has as a bowler. It's important to keep showing that faith and I'm pretty sure he's also trying to rectify those mistakes."

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Apart from Harshal, experienced campaigner Bhuvneshwar Kumar has also looked far from his best. He was out of sorts in the Asia Cup, despite a five-wicket haul against Afghanistan and his struggles have continued in the home series against Australia. 

Bhuvneshwar has especially struggled in the death overs, with figures of 0/52 and 1/39 in the two matches he played against Australia.

Rohit acknowledged Bhuvneshwar's recent wayward form but stressed that it was important to give him some space. "It's important we give him that space. Because when you have a guy like him in the team and the quality that he brings, we know that he's had more good days than bad days honestly speaking, in the last so many years we've seen.

"Yes, of late it's been not the kind of performance that he would want, but that can happen to any of the bowlers." 

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Rohit also added that the team management was working alongside Bhuvneshwar to improve his performances in the slog overs. He added, "From our side we're trying to work out what other things we can do. Because when you're bowling in the death you can't be predictable, you need to have options to bowl on both sides of the ground and sort fields accordingly." 

Rohit concluded though that with Bhuvneshwar's experience, it was only a matter of time before he came good. "Someone with that experience, it'll be easy for him to grasp all the knowledge that is out there." 

After the 2-1 series victory against Australia, India will now turn their attention towards a three-match T20I series against South Africa. The series will be played between 28 September and 4 October and will be of vital importance to both sides as a preparation for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. The two sides will also compete in a three-match ODI series.


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