While speaking to iplt20.com, the Purple Cap holder elaborated on plans he had made for various batsmen. While discussing his bowling and his scalps, Bhuvneshwar talked about the tricks of the trade he had learnt from Ashish Nehra, who had shared tips on how to bluff batsmen. Shouldering the responsibility in the veteran bowler’s absence, the wiry Indian bowler has toiled to implement his senior’s advice, which he shares in this exclusive interview.
How did you prepare yourself for back-to-back knockout games, especially since you are leading the attack now?
I didn’t do any special preparation. But yes when I came to know that Ashish Nehra is injured, there was a bit of extra load that fell on my shoulders. However, if you see the way (Barinder) Sran responded to the situation was very good. He didn’t let the pressure show on him after Nehra’s injury. We knew that they are do-or-die games and we have to play up to our full potential and we did that.
Was there anything that Nehra had taught that you carried forward and have found helpful?
When you are bowling together there are little things, like how you set the field, what is the strength of which batsman and so how do you bluff him – little things like that which he talked about which has helped. And that is probably what I tried to help Sran with. I know that I can’t do what he (Nehra) did with his experience. But I was trying to do and play the role that he did.
What is it that you do when you are bluffing a batsman?
What happens these days in cricket is that watching the way you set the field the batsman knows what you are going to bowl. But as we play more and understand opponents better, we try to bowl against the field that we have set, but not to the extent that it backfires. What we try to do is to be able to bluff the batsman, stop the runs, and get the batsman out.
You know Eklavya Dwivedi; when he came out to open what were your plans for him?
Yes, because we play together for Uttar Pradesh I know his strengths and weaknesses; I knew where to bowl to him. The moment I saw he was opening I mentioned it in our huddle as well. When someone has been playing with you or against you (for sometime) it is easier for you to plan for him.
What were your plans for Bravo?
Bravo was a crucial wicket; he had hit a couple of big boundaries in the earlier over. So I knew that my over was also a crucial one and I was aiming to keep it to 8-10 runs. If you see we had conceded about 60 runs in the last six overs. When about four overs were left I thought that we shouldn’t give away more than 30 or 35 runs but that didn’t happen. When it came to Bravo my aim was to try and get him out and not give away more than 8 to 10 runs.
Can you tell us about your bowling in death overs on which you have been working on for some time?
When you are bowling the death overs you are bound to concede more runs. My economy is been around 8 runs per over, but I didn’t really have much of a problem with that as you bowl a couple of overs upfront and then a couple of overs later. So that is bound to happen. But the good part is that if you take wickets it gets managed (economy rate remains good). I have been working on that. I know that if I want to be consistent I have to continuously practice what I have been doing.
The main thing is to see who the batsman is and bowl accordingly. With Bravo, my effort was in trying to bowl a yorker but on the leg stump as he doesn’t hit it so well there. There are little things that you do when you plan for a batsman - like where to bowl a yorker for which batsman, etc. Small things like that matter.
How delighted are you to hold the Purple Cap?
I am very happy. When you start playing a tournament, your aim is to win it. When I started the tournament I didn’t aim for it (Purple Cap) but I wanted to take many wickets. As the tournament progressed I kept taking wickets and now if we win the tournament besides me getting the Purple Cap, it will be a nice thing to happen.
How have you worked on increasing your pace?
If we talk about pace, we had gone to Sri Lanka a few months back and I started training from there on. I was put on to this thing called Power Training. Our trainer Mr. Basu helped me a lot as well. I followed the program given by him. Initially I wasn’t too convinced with it as it was a bit different but gradually as I got into a route of doing the things he had prescribed, it helped. Now, between games too I do what is needed to maintain things.
What do you say about your captain’s match-winning knock in this game and his consistent performance?
He has been leading from the front. He has scored in crucial situations. Today too, he played according to the situation and adjusted as the situation changed. When we lost a few wickets in the middle it looked like the game was drifting away from us. But then the way he batted later it was something exceptional. Hope he scores in the final as well.
What will your plans be for the RCB captain, Virat Kohli, in the final?
We will definitely plan for him. Everyone knows he is a world-class batsman and the kind of form he is in, it is difficult to bowl to him. But when you are playing against such an opponent, you too want to perform and to get him out. We will definitely have our plans for him. I hope that we will be able to successfully implement our plans.