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Cold weather might be behind India's poor fielding display, indicates Bhuvneshwar

Perth, Oct 31 (IANS) One of the reasons for India’s poor fielding display in the narrow five-wicket loss to South Africa in the ICC T20 World Cup Super-12 game on Sunday could be the cold conditions, which might have played a role in Virat Kohli dropping a sitter and captain Rohit Sharma missing an underarm direct hit at stumps on the striker’s end.

India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded that the weather conditions were “very difficult” but stopped short of saying they played a role in the defeat.

“It (cold weather) was very difficult. But honestly, we never talked about that. We knew that we would have to cope with those conditions. And we can’t change those things. We have to go through these conditions or the cold or in the next matches. So, the same thing in Melbourne. But we never talked about that it’s going to be cold or whatever the condition is,” said Bhuvneshwar.

When Aiden Markram and David Miller were shifting gears in the second half of chasing 134, India had some chances to pull themselves back on the field. But the 2007 T20 World champions let go of chances on offer through costly lapses in the field.

Markram had a huge slice of luck at 35 when a juggling Virat Kohli dropped a simple catch at deep mid-wicket in the 12th over. In the next over, as Miller called for a tight single, Markram had another reprieve when skipper Rohit Sharma missed an underarm direct hit at stumps on the striker’s end.

Sandwiched between the two chances shelved by India, was their batting hero Suryakumar Yadav missing the stumps at striker’s end as Miller called for a quick single. A few overs later, as Markram’s pull fell between two leg-side fielders in the deep, he got to his fifty in 37 balls and shared a 76-run stand off 60 balls with Miller.

Asked if there was a particular moment in the second innings where he felt the momentum was shifting away from India after such a strong start with the ball, where South Africa were reduced to 24/3 in 5.3 overs, Bhuvneshwar said the dropped catches cost the team two full points.

“The catches we dropped, or the misses, I think that’s where — not the moment specifically (where India lost the momentum). But we knew if we could have got those chances, things could have been different. But I think there wasn’t any particular moment where we can say that things shifted towards their side,” said Bhuvneshwar.

On the question of whether India has changed its strategy in the T20 World Cup by deciding to bat first after winning the toss, quite opposite to the strategy in the sub-continent where they bowl first, Bhuvneshwar said, batting first was the right strategy in Australia where conditions are different.

“I think that’s a beautiful strategy (batting first). 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 (in the) sub-continent.”




Ananya Panday

Rashami Desai

Rubina Dilaik

Asim Riaz

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