Bhuvneshwar Kumar stated that “things could have been different” had Aiden Markram’s catch been grabbed or a handful of tight run-outs been completed during India’s five-wicket loss to South Africa in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 on Sunday.

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India were plagued by shoddy fielding when Aiden Markram and David Miller both nearly succumbed to R Ashwin, but the bowler was left disappointed when the usually safe hands of Virat Kohli at deep mid-wicket lost an easy chance from Markram, who was on 35. Rohit Sharma then missed a run out and another catch on the boundary off Ashwin’s bowling. A return catch was also missed by the off-spinner.

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Talking during the post-match press conference about when he felt the momentum was shifting away from India, Bhuvneshwar said, “Not really, the catch we dropped and run out chances that we missed, I won’t say momentum shifted but it would have been different. But I won’t pinpoint any particular moment as such.”

He added, “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.”

Barring Suryakumar Yadav, the Indian batting line-up struggled to get going and while the pitch at Perth was favourable for the pacers, it was a disappointing performance in comparison to the batting show Markram and Miller put up.

Talking about the batting conditions, Bhuvneshwar said, “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 a chance we can get on something like that.”

He added: “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.”

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Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh picked up bowling figures 2/25 against South Africa, and it was because of his early spell wherein he struck twice in three balls that India’s attack made early inroads during South Africa’s chase.

Talking about the spell, Bhuvneshwar said, “It was a really good spell, those two wickets immediately in the first over or the second over of the match. Because of his first two wickets, we got into the match from the start. I think the way he has bowled through the tournament is really good from the team’s point of view.”