The Indian fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar is someone who has had the edge over Chris Gayle in Twenty 20 Cricket and it’s him who had to be the man for Hyderabad if they had to get rid of the big man early in the IPL final yesterday.
But, Bhuvi’s strategy to bowl a straight line to Gayle was not understandable as all the success he had had against the leftie opener had come by bowling at the off stump channel.
Gayle’s tendency to keep his right foot planted at its initial position and not move it at all, makes him vulnerable to every bowler who can seam it away from him or even create a natural angle as he just throws his hands at such deliveries and while, it generally makes him a leading candidate to edge it behind, he sometimes plays it on the sticks too if the surface is not offering a great deal of speed to the ball after pitching.
So, it was that line Bhuvi should have been eyeing, but, for a surprise, he was hell bent at bowling it on the pads of Gayle, keeping it a tad shorter of the length and other than him, his new ball partner Sran was erring on the same side too and that was purely negative bowling.
Not giving the room to Gayle might be something the Hyderabad think tank would have talked about, but, you can’t be on the defence straightaway when two hundred and eight runs are already posted on the score sheet. Yes, a lucky escape for Hyderabad still won them the title, but, the Jamaican with his 76 struck at a rate of 2 runs a ball had almost taken it beyond them at one point.