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We gave away too many boundaries, says Harbhajan

With the visitors having crossed the 300-run mark for the loss of four wickets on the opening day of the first Test match, the initiative is certainly not with India.

cricket Updated: Mar 27, 2008 01:46 IST
Amol Karhadkar

With the visitors having crossed the 300-run mark for the loss of four wickets on the opening day of the first Test match, the initiative is certainly not with India. And off-spinner Harbhajan Singh believes the failure on the bowlers’ part to keep it tight helped the South African batsmen.

“I think we gave a lot of boundary balls,” said Harbhajan, who took two for 92 on Wednesday at the MA chidambaram stadium here. “In the first session we gave around 60-70 runs in boundaries. The first session is always important in a Test match and they dominated it.

“We did very well in the last two sessions and got those four wickets. It would be nice to have got one or two more wickets, but they batted well today,” he told a media conference.

And the figures back Harbhajan’s statement as almost 60 per cent of South Africa’s runs came in boundaries. Moreover, at the end of the first session, the percentage of runs through boundaries was almost 70. Of the 109 runs scored till lunch, 76 came off boundaries.

Harbhajan, though, saw another reason for India conceding over 300 runs in the day – sloppy fielding.

“I think we gave around 20-30 runs in our fielding and that makes a big difference,” he said. “These things happen in cricket and hopefully it won’t be repeated.” However, despite the hiccups Harbhajan said India were “right there in the game”.

“Tomorrow will be a different story and the match can go any way,” he said. “We know our conditions and it is just a matter of two good balls and hopefully we can bowl those two balls in the first half an hour of play.”