We gave away a few too many runs: Bhuvneshwar

We gave away a few too many runs: Bhuvneshwar

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was the pick of Indian pacers on day one of the opening Test, said bowling boundary balls was a concern for the team. The tourists bowled out South Africa for 286 but the pacer felt the hosts scored 25-30 extra runs after electing to bat first here on Friday.

"If we want to be hard on ourselves, then yes we did give away a few too many runs to South Africa," he said in his post-match comments.

"I think they scored 25-30 odd extra runs. In every hour of play, there were 2-3 overs where we gave them easy boundaries in one over. That is an area we can improve on.

"It (high run-rate) is something of a concern for us. During the breaks also we were talking about bringing the run-rate down because in Test cricket four runs per over is huge. This is something we want to improve in the next innings, but overall we are happy with the lines and lengths we bowled," he added.

Bhuvneshwar finished with figures of 4/87 but could have finished with a five-for had Shikhar Dhawan not dropped Keshav Maharaj, who was yet to open his account, at third slip.

"No, I am not disappointed at not taking five-wicket haul. This is part of the game and there will be other opportunities to take five wicket hauls. Catches do win you matches and we want to improve this area.

"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," he offered.

South Africa batting coach Dale Benkenstein praised AB de Villiers who bailed out South Africa with a sparkling 65 that put the pressure back on India after they had left the home team reeling at 12/3.

"Luckily our phones get taken away otherwise I was getting an Uber and leaving for hotel at 12/3," he began. "They are quality bowling attack. At that stage I was sitting there and wondering how we are going to score runs on this wicket. I just think that class and genius of AB and tenacity of captain (Faf du Plessis), that partnership, even that just one over (when de Villiers slammed Bhuvneshwar for four fours), AB changed the game.

"Made the bowlers worry about their lengths and that partnership of 100 runs got us back in the game and brought belief back in the change room but at 12/3 not a great feeling as batting coach," he observed.

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