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India vs South Africa: Game is Still Evenly Balanced, Feels Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: January 6, 2018, 8:38 AM IST
India vs South Africa: Game is Still Evenly Balanced, Feels Bhuvneshwar Kumar

(Image: AFP)

Cape Town: India's star performer of the day Bhuvneshwar Kumar felt that India were pretty much alive in the game and that the first Test was still evenly poised despite India losing three quick wickets.

"I think the game is still evenly balanced on first day. I wouldnt say that any one team is ahead. The only on our mind about what we want to do tomorrow is to bat well and bat for as long as possible," Bhuvneshwar said.

But, the pacer admitted that the bowling attack gave away 30 runs too many as South Africa reached 286 in their first innings despite being reduced to 12 for 3 within the first half an hour.

"If we want to be hard on ourselves, then yes we did give away a few too many runs to South Africa. I think they scored 25-30-odd extra runs. In every hour of play, there were 2-3 overs, where we gave away easy boundaries. That is an area we can improve on," Bhuvneshwar said at the post-match conference.

Despite losing early wickets, South Africa continued to score at a quick run rate.

"It is a concern. During the break also, we were talking about bringing the run-rate down because in Test cricket four runs per over is a lot. This is something we want to improve when we bowl in the second innings but overall we are happy with the lines and lengths we bowled," he added.

Bhuneshwar also backed the slip fielders, saying they had done well in the past and the bowlers still trust them.

"The slip cordon has held some great catches in the past so they will miss one or two. We do not go to bowl thinking they will not hold catches. We trust the slip cordon to hold their catches," he added.

South Africa's decision to bat first might have surprised a few, but Bhuvneshwar team India was prepared for something like this,

"We had a feeling that they would opt to bat first. It didn't really surprise us. We wanted to bowl first after winning the toss so it was fine with us. They were good conditions to bowl first.

"The ball was seaming a lot for the first 10-15 overs. We were able to use those conditions to get first three wickets in five overs," Bhuvneshwar said.

He also AB de Villiers, saying that the bowlers have to be at their best to bowl to him.

"When it comes to AB de Villiers, he is the best in the world and you have to be at your best to bowl to him. He was counter-attacking us and took the game from us. He didn't take it completely but he took the session away from us. It would have been good if we had got him out early," he added.

Bhuvneshwar also explained that bowling short to the tail was a strategy which the Indian pacers wanted to use.

"It was a strategy to get them out. In the first two sessions, we didn't bowl short at all. In the third session, we wanted to get them out quickly and it was part of our planning.

"As a bowler, you want to go and bowl in helpful conditions in South Africa, England and Australia. But it is also important to bowl in the right areas, and they differ from bowler to bowler depending on conditions and the opposition," he said.
First Published: January 6, 2018, 8:30 AM IST

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