Heinrich Klaasen: Surprised by India's decision to ignore Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah

Feb 11, 2018, 12:42 IST | PTI

India did not bowl Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah at the death in the fourth ODI and instead opted for the wrist-spinners, a move that backfired and South Africa's Heinrich Klaasen said he was surprised by the decision

South African batsman Heinrich Klaasen (L) and South African batsman Andile Pehlukwayo (R) celebrate after winning the fourth One Day International cricket match between South Africa and India at Wanderers. Pic/AFP
South African batsman Heinrich Klaasen (L) and South African batsman Andile Pehlukwayo (R) celebrate after winning the fourth One Day International cricket match between South Africa and India at Wanderers. Pic/AFP

India did not bowl Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah at the death in the fourth ODI and instead opted for the wrist-spinners, a move that backfired and South Africa's Heinrich Klaasen said he was surprised by the decision. India skipper Virat Kohli did not bowl Kumar and Bumrah at the death even as the wrist-spinners were leaking runs. "I was very surprised," Klaasen said about Kohli's strategic call to keep Kumar and Bumrah away from the action at the death after South Africa's target was revised.

"David (Miller) and I thought they would have kept them (the pacers) at back for two overs each. But I think how this series went that led them to bowl their spinners for the remaining of the overs. But I was very surprised about it." Kohli's decision didn't work as the spin duo failed to contain the Proteas for once, leaking 119 runs in 11.3 overs for just 3 wickets between them. The 26-year-old wicket-keeper batsman, who replaced injured Quinton de Kock, said that it was Yadav who had worried the Proteas in the series so far with his variations.

"I wouldn't say (we have solved the spin riddle). The problem at beginning of series was that we didn't pick the chinaman (Yadav). That obviously makes the difference not to be able to score against him," said Klaasen, who played a blinder of knock (47 off 27 balls) last night. "No one really struggled to pick Chahal but he seemed to pick up a lot of the wickets. We struggled to pick up the chinaman's variations. But we did a lot of homework on him over the last 2-3 days and that seemed to work today." Klaasen proved to be the real difference as he punished the spinners with a plethora of inventive shots, and chased umpteen wide deliveries, hitting them in an unorthodox manner. But the batsman it was a calculated risk which he took against the spinners.

"That's where the gaps were...that was my only boundary option. He bowled quite wide and got a lot of turn and bounce, that was my gutsy shot at that moment and I pulled it off," said Klaasen. "So we were very calculated in our approach there. Maybe it didn't look like it! But it was all calculated and planned out, what we wanted to do." Klaasen said th five-wicket win in the Pink ODI will give his side a massive boost in the series. "This is a massive confidence booster for us. We didn't have the confidence earlier, but it has lifted our spirits. It has given belief in the dressing room," he said. "It is also nice to have AB de Villiers back again.

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