Bhuvneshwar Kumar has admitted that the Indian bowling attack gave away almost 30 extra runs to South Africa which helped them put up a competitive 286 in their first innings. The Indian pacer has praised AB de Villiers’ counter-attacking effort and called him one of the best batsmen in the world.
Ahead of the start of the series between India and South Africa, experts showed their trust in the Indian pace attack and Bhuvneshwar didn’t disappoint them as he grabbed four wickets on the first day of Cape Town Test which wrapped the host’s innings at 286 runs. But the 27-year-old himself pointed out team’s mistake as he mentioned that they could have cut 25-30 runs from South Africa's total.
"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 as quoted by News18.
After bowlers’ brilliant and controlled performance, India got the chance to bat on the first day of the Test. But the openers failed to give a stable start to India as the visitors lost three wickets for just 28 runs at stumps. Bhuvneshwar, who was the star performer of the day, believed that India was pretty much alive in the game despite losing three quick wickets.
"I think the game is still evenly balanced on the first day. I wouldn't 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.
Bhuvneshwar helped India in starting the game with a bang as he took the wicket of Dean Elgar in the first over of the day and then, he went on to dismiss Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla which put the hosts on the back foot. But surprisingly, despite losing early wickets, South Africa continued to score at a quick run rate. By the end of the first session, the hosts were scoring at a rate of over four runs an over.
"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.
Since the start of India's home season in 2016-17 against New Zealand, India have missed 37 catches in the slip cordon and the problem came to the fore once again during the Cape Town Test as the fielders missed some sitters which ended up haunting them as
"The slip cordon has held some great catches in the past so they will miss one or two. We do not go
Ahead of the series against India, de Villiers ended his sabbatical period from Test cricket and played against Zimbabwe in the first ever four-day day-night Test. In the match, he played the role of skipper in the absence of regular captain Faf du Plessis and scored 53 runs. In the first Test against India, the 33-year-old was the man who came as a savior for the home side. He built a much-needed partnership of 114 runs with du Plessis during his 65-run knock which gave South Africa some stability to recover from three early losses.
"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.
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