11/28/2022
India suffered an injury scare on Sunday (October 30) when Dinesh Karthik had to walk off the field, clutching his back when South Africa innings was in progress.

Rishabh Pant completed the wicketkeeping duties for the rest of the match as a substitute. Now, Karthik is a doubtful starter for the match against Bangladesh at Adelaide on November 2. Veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said in the post-match press conference that Karthik is under observation.

Excerpts:

Could you tell us about Karthik’s injury… what’s the exact status?

Bhuvneshwar: “I think he hit something with the bat. I didn’t meet him after this. We’ll get to know what’s happening once we go back to the hotel, whenever the physio gives the report.”

Any reason why the 133 runs was not enough at all? Did you expect you would be able to restrict them?

Bhuvneshwar: 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. You can see the match going to the last bowler, last over, we knew it would be a close match.

Will it be felt a bit hardened by the fielders today?

Bhuvneshwar: 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.

How difficult was it to play in these cold conditions? As a team, how did you cope with it? Could you talk us through that?

Bhuvneshwar: It was very difficult. But honestly, we never talked about that. We knew that we were 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.

Was there a particular moment in the second innings where you felt the momentum was shifting away from you after such a strong start with the ball?

Bhuvneshwar: Not really. The catches we dropped, or the misses, I think that’s where — not the moment specifically. 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.

You spoke about 140 being the par score run on pitches like this. And throughout the tournament you’re seeing bowler-friendly conditions. Do you think the team is now trying to change the strategy from chasing rather than bat first and put the opposition under pressure, take the game to the last over?

Bhuvneshwar: I think that’s a beautiful strategy. 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.

How good was, you think, Arshdeep’s first spell? At that time did you think the match could decisively change? After Arshdeep’s first power play it was 26 to 3.

Bhuvneshwar: It was a really good spell, those two wickets two quarters into the match 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.