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Australia vs India: Knew Gilchrist was vulnerable on the ball pitched up, recalls Praveen Kumar

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File picture of Praveen Kumar.

Former India quick bowler Praveen Kumar, who helped India clinch the second Tri-series last in 2008 at Brisbane with an early three-wicket burst, says he used to catch the batsmen by watching their toes and physique language.

India, having received the first of the best-of-three finals, had wanted to win the second to seal the Tri-series for the first time in historical past.

They had set a goal of 258, due to Sachin Tendulkar‘s 91, and with the batting line-up that Australia had, it may have been inadequate.

But Praveen lopped off Australia’s cream – Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke to depart Aussies tottering at 32/3. They may by no means get well from there and India received the match by 9 runs.

“Let me tell you, I could catch a batsman by watching his feet and body language. That moment (Brisbane, 2008) I was just putting on display the art that I have,” Praveen Kumar instructed IANS about his 4 for 46 haul that earned him the man of the match award and India a historic win that obtained them the Tri-series in Australia for the first time in historical past.

“You see most things about bowling are simple. I was not thinking about anything. My bowling style dictated the areas I have to pitch and I was watching the wicket and bowling,” he added.

Praveen says he had executed his homework with the assist of the assist workers, having studied the batsmen.

“‘Gilchrist paidal tha upar waali ball par’ (Gilchrist was vulnerable to the ball that used to be pitched up),” he explains the thought behind plotting the former Australian wicket-keeper who was taking part in his final and 287th ODI. Gilchrist poked at a supply that moved away. Aussies had been one down for 2.

“Ponting, they used to say, he pulls the ball well. So I said, ‘isko pull par hi nikaalna hai’ (let us catch him on the pull),” he says earlier than explaining the easy logic.

“Whatever is the strength of someone, can also be his weakness. I bowled short, he pulled and was caught at short mid-on (by Yuvraj). I have got Ponting out thrice, once in Nagpur – there before he could realise the ball had hit the pad and he was out. It is about catching the batsman, a person. You catch a batsman by how he is playing. You need brains for that. In Ponting’s case, I thought let me try a short one.”

Praveen was, nevertheless, a tad fortunate with the third one – of Clarke.

“‘Maine ball dabaai aur wo baith gayee’ (I pushed the ball on the pitch and it didn’t rise and went on at a very low trajectory). I got a bit lucky there. The pitch helped me on that one. But I am proud of the way I got Gilchrist. When a bowler uses his hands (art) and brain, he can bowl even if he has just gotten up from sleep. You will naturally catch the good length if you have it in you. By God’s grace, I had practiced so much that even if I could get up from my sleep, I could step out and bowl.”

That night time at the Gabba, Praveen helped create historical past for India together with his artwork and expertise.


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