India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said he enjoys bowling in “tough situations” after achieving career-best figures in the first T20I against South Africa at the Wanderers on Sunday.
Kumar took 5-24 in his four overs as the tourists went one-nil up in the three-match series with a 28-run victory in Johannesburg.
The right-arm seamer, who has enhanced his reputation on this tour, revealed how he had to mix up his pace to keep the home batsmen guessing.
Kumar said after the game: “I enjoy bowling in tough situations. What I was trying to do is bring about change of pace in my bowling. I just varied my pace because I knew it wouldn’t be easy to hit the ball.
“The important thing is how you mix your deliveries in accordance with the nature of the pitch.
“For instance, we bowled a lot of slower balls today. It was a part of our strategy on this wicket – to do away with pace and make it difficult for batsmen to score.
“Apart from line and length, it’s important to understand how you want to mix your deliveries. It matters.”
The 28-year-old, who was India’s best bowler in the three-match Test series – which the tourists lost two-one – said they took a lot of confidence from winning the last game in the longest format.
India have since romped to five-one win in the six-match ODI series and will be strong favourites to wrap up the three-match T20I series in Centurion on Wednesday.
Kumar added: “We lost the first two Test matches and then we came back. The momentum was on our side and we made it count.
“Credit has to go to us for the way we have performed in every department.”