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‘Hero’ Praveen Kumar’s story of that victory, when India defeated the Kangaroos

new DelhiFormer Indian fast bowler Praveen Kumar played a key role in helping India win in the tri-series played in Australia in 2008. The bowler has said that he used to check the batsman’s feet and body language only by watching them. India had to win two out of three finals to win the series. He won the first match. In the second match, he set a target of 258 runs against Australia on the basis of Sachin Tendulkar’s superb 91 runs innings. Given the kind of batting line-up against Australia, this target was low. Praveen took the wickets of Australia’s main batsmen – Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke – in this match. From there the Indian team could never come back and India won the match by nine runs. Praveen said, ‘I can tell you that I can test the batsman’s leg and body language. At that time (Brisbane 2008) I was just showing the art that I had. ‘ Praveen took four wickets for 46 runs in that match, due to which he was also elected Man of the Match. Praveen said that he did homework on the batsmen with the help of support staff. He spoke of one of the greatest batsmen and the strategy of Australia’s then wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, “Gilchrist was walking on the top ball.” He used to say about Ponting that he hits a good bridge. So I said they have to be removed on the bridge itself. He said, ‘The strength of a human being is also his weakness. I bowled short balls, he pulled and was caught at short mid on. I dismissed Ponting three times. Once in Nagpur, he knew that if the ball hit the pad, he was out. It is a matter of knowing the batsman. You can know the batsman by the way he plays. You need a mind for that. In the case of Ponting, I thought I use short ball. Praveen, however, proved lucky in dismissing Clarke. He said, ‘I pressed the ball (trying to bounce) and she sat down (got low). I was a bit lucky there. The pitch helped me in this. But I am proud of the way I dismissed Gilchrist. When the bowler uses his hands and mind, he can bowl even after sleeping. You will naturally bowl on the good length ball. By the grace of God, I had practiced so much that even if I came to sleep I could bowl. At Gaba that night, Praveen helped India create history with its art and ability.

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