Virat Kohli dropped a Markram cart in the middle of Ravichandran Ashwin’s deep wicket when the batter was on 35.
“Yes, if you had taken those catches it would have been different. Catches win games and those chances, if taken, could have made the difference,” Bhuvneshwar said in the post-match conference.
Markram scored 52 from 41 and added a crucial 76 for the fourth wicket with David Miller (59 not knocked out) as South Africa chased a 134 goal with two balls to spare.
While he wouldn’t commit to the fact that the dropped capture happened when the momentum changed, but between the lines it could be read that the pitch of the day let the team down.
“Not really, the hold we dropped and the missed chances we missed, I wouldn’t say the momentum changed, but it would have been different. But I won’t pinpoint any particular moment as such.” , said the designer.
Difficult track to follow
Bhuvneshwar was sympathetic with the Indian higher order who struggled to cope with extra pace, rebound and movement.
“As for the batting, we all know that was a tough wicket to beat. If you look at the tournament so far, the par score has been around 140 and so. We thought with 140, we had the belief that we can make a game out of it.”
He defended skipper Rohit Sharma’s decision to give Ashwin 18th (his fourth) after scoring 17 in 14th. The only other option Rohit had was Deepak Hooda.
“Generally it is thought that if the spinners could keep things tight it would have been difficult for the batters at the end against the pacers. And if you keep a spinner at the end it becomes easier for the batter. If we had had a wicket, things could have changed,” he lamented.
Unlike India, where hunting is the order of the day in the T20Is due to the dew factor, conditions in Australia change from city to city.
“That’s the beauty of Australia. In India you try to hunt because you have dew. In Australia things change from city to city and here it was hard to hunt, but it might be different in the next city we go to,” he added.
He didn’t want to give the extreme cold conditions an excuse for not doing well.
“It was very difficult but we never talked about it because we knew we had to deal with those conditions. Even in Melbourne it was cold but we never talked about those things.”