Glad to have restricted Gayle off my bowling: Bhuvi

PWI bowler with U-6 eco-rate talks of Gayle’s ballistic knock

Bengaluru 24 April 2013
Any bowler worth his salt will admit that there are not many nightmares worse than bowling to Chris Gayle at his destructive best. Ask the Pune Warriors India bowlers who bore the brunt of the man’s murderous mood at Bengaluru as he smashed records after records to scorch his way to the highest individual score in T20 history.

Two PWI bowlers averaged more than 20 runs per over while another two went over 15 as Royal Challengers Bangalore amassed 265 in their 20 overs. In the same innings Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away 23 runs in his four overs. The seven balls that Bhuvneshwar bowled to Gayle yielded 11 runs. Gayle scored his 175 runs at a strike-rate of 265.

While the young pacer was dejected with the team’s 130-run loss, his own disciplined performance gave him something to take away from the game. Bhuvneshwar spoke to after the match about his plan of bowling to Gayle and the team’s morale.

Was this the toughest test of your career so far – bowling to Chris Gayle?

Yes and no. As a team it was a tough match to play but individually for me it was good. We gave away 265 runs out of which I gave only 23 runs. That was satisfying for me.

You bowled seven balls to him and conceded just 11 runs. What was your plan bowling to him?

With the new ball I was trying to get him out because he’s that kind of batsman who can cover up later on even if you bowl some dots to him initially. In the death overs I just tried to keep him off strike so that I can bowl to the other batsman. I just tried to keep the ball away from his body so that he can take a single and get off strike.

Was this also a day when bowlers regretted becoming bowlers?

You can say that. When he bats like that nobody wants to bowl, especially on a wicket like this where the ball comes on well onto the bat. All I can say is that it’s tough luck for the bowlers if he decides to bat like that.

What was the discussion like in the team during the strategic timeouts?

During the first strategic timeout we just spoke of getting him out as soon as possible. But we couldn’t do that. We tried to do different things but he just kept hitting. Ishwar Pandey was playing his first match in this tournament and he went for 21 runs in the first over. He obviously became nervous and it happens when you’re playing against Gayle. We could have bowled better but then you never know.

How tough is it for a team to recover from such a shock?

It is very difficult, especially for us as we are going through a tough time. But all we can do as a team is stick together and keep backing each other. We’re trying to be as positive as we can and can only hope for the best from here.

It would obviously have been tough as a bowling side. But merely as a watcher, did you enjoy the knock?

Not really. When you’re in the bowling side you never enjoy it if some batsman is hitting you or your bowlers like that. I would have enjoyed it if I was watching it on TV.
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