Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sunrisers Hyderabad's leading wicket-taker, has said bowlers have to be patient with batsmen like Ajinkya Rahane. Against Rajasthan Royals, Bhuvneshwar reaped the benefits of sticking to Test-match like lines and lengths to dismiss Rahane early.
"With Rahane, it's necessary to get the execution absolutely right because he is the kind of batsman who doesn't go after you but if you give him a poor delivery he will hit it," Bhuvneshwar told iplt20.com. "My plan was to get him out bowling like I would in a Test match. It was key to get him out because he is the kind of batsman who will play till the end and win them the game. I know what his strengths are and he knows mine. So I was happy to win the patient game."
It wasn't just the start of the innings where he has had success. Against Royals, Bhuvneshwar came back to dismiss James Faulkner and Sanju Samson in the 18th over to derail the chase.
"Bowling at the death and at the beginning is very different," Bhuvneshwar said. "At the beginning, the batsmen are looking to play normal cricket shots. You can't afford to bowl bad deliveries, especially with Rahane and Shane Watson. They are the kind of batsmen who will always look for the bad balls. But for death bowling, you have to plan really well because batsmen can play scoops and reverse sweeps, so you have to make plans accordingly. James Faulkner, for example, can hit a low full toss for six. We knew that till Faulkner is there, the game will be tight. So his wicket was very crucial for us."
Bhuvneshwar kept Sunrisers' hopes for a playoffs spot alive as he helped Sunrisers to a seven-run win over Rajasthan Royals, after he took three wickets to stave off a late surge from the Royals' middle order. That took his season tally to 16, at an average of 18.62.
"You always want to take wickets because that's how you win games in T20. You have to take the responsibility, especially when you are the leading wicket-taker for a team. I always look to take wickets, especially on wickets such as the one in Brabourne Stadium. There was help initially and later on you have to get your basics right which will get you wickets."