Bhuvneshwar Kumar said on Friday, January 5 that AB de Villiers' counter-attacking half-century on the opening day of the ongoing first Test in Cape Town hurt India especially after the good start the visitors had managed to get.
Bhuvneshwar made good use of the conditions at Newlands during the first hour of the Test on Friday as he picked up the wickets of Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla to leave the hosts reeling at 12 for 3.
However, de Villiers and Faf du Plessis got South Africa back into the game with a 114-run stand for the fourth wicket. While the former put pressure on the bowlers by counter-attacking, the skipper mixed caution with aggression as both the batsmen hit half-centuries.
De Villiers and du Plessis made sure no Indian bowler settled down by maintaining a healthy run rate. Throughout the day, the hosts scored at more than four runs per over, eventually posting 286 runs inside the first day.
"When it comes to AB de Villiers, he is the best in the world and you have to be at your best to bowl to him. He was counter-attacking us and took the game from us," Bhuvneshwar told reporters after the first day's play in Cape Town.
He added: "He didn't take it completely but he took the session away from us. It would have been good if we had got him out early."
'They scored 25-30 extra runs'
Kumar also rued letting the South African tail wag. Debutant Jasprit Bumrah removed de Villiers on 65 in the second session after which Hardik Pandya removed du Plessis for 62 to give India a good chance of bowling South Africa out for an under-par score.
However, the likes of Vernon Philander (23), Keshav Maharaj (35), Kagiso Rabada (26) and Dale Steyn (16) added 102 runs to the total, much to the frustration of Virat Kohli and Co.
"If we want to be hard on ourselves, then yes we did give away a few too many runs to South Africa. I think they scored 25-30-odd extra runs. In every hour of play, there were 2-3 overs where we gave away easy boundaries. That is an area we can improve on," Bhuvneshwar said.
He added: "It is a concern for us. During the break also, we were talking about bringing the run-rate down because in Test cricket four runs per over is a lot. This is something we want to improve when we bowl in the second innings but overall we are happy with the lines and lengths we bowled."