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Kolkata Test: Hard work on fitness is paying off, says Bhuvneshwar Kumar

first_imgBhuvneshwar Kumar starred with four wickets (after his four-four in the first innings) in the second innings as India settled for a draw against Sri Lanka in the first Test of the three-match series at Eden Gardens on Monday.Having put up a score of 352 in the second innings, courtesy a brilliant hundred from captain Virat Kohli, India declared with a lead of 231 runs.It was then that India’s pace battery rocked Sri Lanka. Bhuvneshwar created an opportunities and picked wickets at regular intervals to turn the heat on for the islanders. However, bowling on a fifth day pitch in India is never easy for pacers but Bhuvi is not the kind to hide behind excuses.”Frankly speaking, it was difficult to bowl in the second innings because the pitch was on the drier side and the ball was coming nicely on to the bat but luckily, it was reverse swinging later on and we tried to make the best of it,” Bhuvneshwar said after receiving the man-of-the-match award in the post-match presentation ceremony.What an exciting end to the Kolkata Test. An entertaining 1st Test comes to an end with the match ending in a draw. Over to Nagpur next #INDvSL pic.twitter.com/5qVsSpSuBE- BCCI (@BCCI) November 20, 2017Bhuvneshwar conceded that Kohli had asked the pacers to visualise a similar situation in an overseas Test match.”When we went in, Virat said ‘Imagine if we were playing overseas and we were in the same situation’. It’s never easy to survive overseas and that’s the mindset we went in with and we knew if we could pick a few wickets, it won’t be easy for them,” he said.advertisementBhuvneshwar said that they were apprehensive of declaring with a small lead but Kohli and the management gave them a lot of confidence.”Personally, we had planned that we’ll see for the first hour of the day and then make quick runs and declare but those initial wickets fell and we did have a little bit of a scare. But the way Virat batted, he got us back in the game. Even then, it felt we didn’t have enough to declare but then, Virat talked and the management gave us a lot of belief,” he conceded.Bhuvneshwar had made his Test debut in 2013 and he was a lanky swing-dependent bowler then. In the past two years, the 27-year-old has improved his fitness and worked immensely on his bowling and the results are there for everyone to see.”When I made my debut, I was totally dependent on swing but when you are in the international circuit, you know what you can improve on and so, that was a part I really wanted to improve. I have worked hard on my fitness and that is really paying off.last_img read more