Bhuvneshwar gets some advice from Kulkarni after first-ball exploits
India swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar's victim (Pakistan's in-form opener Mohammad Hafeez) was most-talked about after India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's great innings (113 not out) which helped India post 227-6, a healthy progress from being reduced to 29 for five.
Bhuvneshwar, who made a dream T20 International debut (3-9) against Pakistan in Bangalore last week, had a telling impact when his first ODI delivery nipped back to take the Pakistan skipper’s off stump. He also claimed the wicket of one-drop batsman Azhar Ali for nine.
He became the second Indian to take a wicket off his first ball in ODIs after Sadagoppan Ramesh, who dismissed WI’s Nixon McLean in Singapore, 1999 while left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni is the only Indian to take a wicket off his first ball in Test cricket (M Atapattu caught behind by N Mongia for 26).
Kulkarni advised the youngster to be grounded. “He (Bhuvneshwar) will be on a high, and he should be feeling special about it. It is no mean feat to get a wicket off your first ball of debut, but with it, he has raised expectations. He will have to perform responsibly from now on. I would advise him to stay grounded and not get carried away with all the hype. Stay focused on the task at hand,” said Kulkarni.
Kulkarni played two more Tests after his debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 1997-98. “I experienced a high and a low in that (Sri Lanka) match itself. I went wicketless for the next three days in the Test (as SL scored a record 952 runs),” Kulkarni signed off.