Premier India fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be making a comeback into the Indian team for the remaining three ODIs against Australia. He was rested for the two-match T20 Internationals (T20I) and the first two ODIs against Australia. Bhuvneshwar featured in India's 4-1 ODI series win against New Zealand last month, where he picked 7 wickets. Meanwhile, Mohammed Shami hit form and was 'player of the match' on two occasions in New Zealand. However, Bhuvneshwar isn't worried about his chances in the playing XI. Rather, he stressed on the importance of getting ample rest ahead of the World Cup and is looking forward to being consistent and staying fit.
"I'm not worried about who's getting a chance and who's not getting. More importantly, it's about getting rest. Shami got rest in New Zealand, I got rest in this series. You want to be consistent and for that you want to be fit. That's the reason why I took rest," Bhuvneshwar said.
While Bhuvneshwar was not used in the Test series and subsequently played eight ODIs, Mohammed Shami featured in four Tests against Australia and nine ODIs (five against Australia and four in New Zealand) in recent times.
For Bhuvneshwar, the next three ODIs will be the match practice that he is looking at, as he is not considering IPL as a preparation platform. "Not necessarily IPL, but these three matches definitely, also because we can't take any match lightly. Obviously, these are the crucial matches for us going into the World Cup."
The Indian Premier League, for Bhuvneshwar, is more about fine-tuning skills. "IPL is something... it's where we polish our skills and be in form but ODI and T20I are totally different. So we are approaching these matches (ODIs) as the last before the World Cup."
Not only Bumrah-Shami but the Bumrah-Bhuvneshwar combination has also been a successful one and he attributes the success to knowing their specific roles.
"If Bumrah is taking wickets then I can contain runs, so that there's pressure on the batsmen. These are things which we keep working on. "Not just two of us but as a bowling unit, we keep in mind that if somebody is picking wickets, the other bowler's job is to not give away any runs.
It could be vice versa, I could be taking wickets and he could be containing." He has got Australia's ODI skipper Aaron Finch out on a number of occasions and when asked about the secret behind his success, he cheekily replied: "Because he is out of form."
With the first two ODIs of the five-match series being low-scoring ones, Bhuvneshwar knows that his batting could come in handy.
"Depends on what the situation is. If there are a few overs left and there's a batsman with me, I try to give strike to him and hit a few balls. If there are many overs left and not many wickets, I just try to give myself the best chance to stay so that we can score as many runs as possible."
He said that he simulates match situations and works at the nets. "In my mind, I work out situations. Like how I should play if I bat for four overs or how should I approach myself if its 10 overs. These are things I work at the nets."
(With PTI inputs)