A win for India in Perth could have sealed the semifinal berth on Sunday but South Africa were clearly the better team, having outplayed India in all three departments. Indian top-order struggled to get going, fielders dropped simple catches and targets were missed by a mile during run-out opportunities. In such a scenario, bowlers could have hardly done anything but Indian pacers ensured that the match went on till the last over.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar argued that it was not really a bad total on board, adding that the condition here was not conducive for batting. However, he added that had India grabbed those offerings, things might have been different.
“When it comes to batting, we all know it's a difficult wicket to bat on. If you look at how the tournament goes on until now, it's been near -- par score has been 130, 140, not par but somewhere near there. We knew that even 140 gave us a chance to get on something like that. You can see the match going to the last bowler, last over, we knew it would be a close match,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar said in the post-match press conference in Perth.
“If you take those catches, it's a different thing. But of course catches in the matches are a good feeling. When you know the matches -- would have taken those chances, those are -- things could have been different. The catches we dropped, or the (indiscernible) misses, I think that's where -- not the moment specifically - the game changed. But we knew if we could have got those changes things could have been different. But I think there wasn't any particular moment where we can say that things shifted towards their side,” the pacer added.
After chasing in the opening encounter, India decided to bat first in the last two games, considering the slowness of the surface in the latter half of the game. On being asked about the same, Bhuvneshwar Kumar stated that the approach changes from ground to ground - they would have loved to chase in subcontinent but condition in Australia dictated a different course of action.
“If you're playing in the subcontinent you generally try to chase, and do all those things. But in Australia, things are -- look, it keeps changing from ground to ground, city to city. If you look at us, we batted first because we knew chasing is not an easy task, especially in Perth. It could be different in the next city. But like you said, batting first or second wouldn't make much difference, like subcontinents,” Kumar added.