Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who scored his maiden ODI half-century to help India win the second game against Sri Lanka, revealed that former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni told him not to take any pressure and play just like a Test match.
Kumar came out as India's unlikely batting hero in the escape to victory against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on 24 August.
The 27-year-old struck an unbeaten 53 to rally India from 131/7, chasing 231 for victory in the second ODI to hand a nerve wracking three-wicket win over Sri Lanka to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
The right-arm pacer joined Dhoni (45*) after a sensational six-wicket haul by Sri Lankan spinner Akila Dananjaya, who snapped up six wickets in 20 deliveries, and left the visitors reeling.
"It was a bit surprising for me because we had a great opening start and all of a sudden, we collapsed. It was a panic situation for us. When I went into bat, Dhoni told me to play my natural game, 'play as if you are playing a Test match.' He told me not to take any pressure," said Kumar in the post-match press conference.
"We knew that if played the entire overs, we will end up winning. There was nothing to lose for us. We were already seven down. And I just went to bat without having any kind of pressure on myself. I just wanted to support as much I could to MS," he added.
The Indian pacer, who has three Test fifties and a first-class century to his name, further said that the duo (he and Dhoni) planned to keep the game simple and not leave much for the remaining batters.
"We didn't plan anything extra ordinary. We tried to keep it simple and not let the asking rate go beyond 6-7," he elaborated.
The two sides will now lock horns in the third ODI on 27 August.