Bhuvneshwar Kumar has done a terrific job anchoring India’s pace attack against South Africa in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, who were both rested to prepare for the England Test in Birmingham. Bhuvneshwar, who was not at his best when India toured South Africa earlier this year, bounced back in the home series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, and has carried that form into the T20I series against South Africa. The right-arm seamer has six wickets in three games and has looked like the best bowler in the powerplay. India will expect their most experienced bowler to continue in the same spirit when they face the Temba Bavuma-led squad in Rajkot on Friday.

Not if Bhuvneshwar needed any more motivation, but the prospect of smashing two big records is certain to put a grin on his face as he enters the must-win battle. Bhuvneshwar is one wicket away from breaking the all-time powerplay wickets record. He is presently tied for third position with Samuel Badree and Tim Southee. In power plays, they’ve each taken 33 wickets. In T20I history, Bhuvneshwar, Badree, and Southee are the only three bowlers to bowl over 100 overs in the powerplay. With 130 overs in the first six overs, the Indian seamer is at the top of the standings.

On Tuesday, Bhuvneshwar Kumar took his 64th T20I wicket in Visakhapatnam, taking him one wicket closer to Jasprit Bumrah’s 67-wicket T20I record. Yuzvendra Chahal has already surpassed Bumrah as India’s leading T20I wicket-taker in this series, and Bhuvneshwar will attempt to surpass Bumrah as the series’ top fast bowler in the last two games in Rajkot and Bangalore.