As rain washed away the 5th T20 match between India and South Africa, the silver cloud shone in the way of Bhuvneshwar Kumar being named the ‘Player of the series’ and what a well-deserved title it is. He boasted a strike rate of 10.4 in the 5-match series that ended in a 2-2 draw, with exceptional performances, especially in the powerplays.

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Kumar led India’s pace attack against South Africa in the lack of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, who were both excused to prepare for the England Test in Birmingham. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was not at his finest when India played South Africa earlier this year, made a strong recovery in the home series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka and has maintained that form into the T20Is against South Africa.

The right-arm seamer has six wickets in three matches and has been the most effective bowler in the powerplay. India will be hoping that their most seasoned pacer can maintain his form for upcoming fixtures.

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Not that Bhuvneshwar lacked any extra motivation, but the fact that he is on the cusp of breaking a handful of major records will undoubtedly keep him amped for future games. He just needs to wait a bit longer.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one wicket away from topping the list of most powerplay wickets taken. He is currently level with Samuel Badree and Tim Southee. So far, all three have collected 33 wickets in powerplays. In T20Is, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Badree, and Southee are the only three bowlers to have delivered more than 100 overs in the powerplay. The Indian seamer is at the top of the rankings with 130 overs in the first six.

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On Tuesday in Visakhapatnam, Bhuvneshwar Kumar got his 64th T20I wicket, moving him closer to Jasprit Bumrah’s tally of 67 in the format.