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England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 4th day
India must mix caution with agression
July 22, 2007
Ravi Shastri and Siddhartha Vaidyanathan do the wrap for day four at Lord's
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Siddhartha Vaidyanathan: Hello, this is Siddhartha Vaidyanathan reporting from Lord's. With me is former India captain, Ravi Shastri to discuss day 4 of the first Test match between India and England. Ravi, another tough day for India, but they were done in by a really good hundred by a good batsman?

Ravi Shastri: A good batsman and potentially a great batsman, a magnificent innings. The best thing about the way Kevin Pietersen played was he was prepared to graft before lunch, when the ball was swinging and the Indian bowlers did well to pick up three wickets, RP Singh in particular. But then, after lunch was when the damage was done. He sensed that runs were important. It wasn't just about occupying the crease. He knew that England had to get runs and that he was the man. He shifted gears, took the attack to the Indians and then entertained the crowd with magnificent strokeplay. That's the thing about his batting that makes him one of my top three players in world cricket today.

SV: Is there anything at all that a bowling attack can do when a batsman is playing like that?

RS: He played extremely well, very little you could do. He did all the hard work before lunch by being prepared to graft, took his time, and once the sun came out in the afternoon and the bowlers were tiring, he took toll.

SV: One big positive for India from this game - RP Singh. He has been a bowler who has been improving gradually. Five wickets at Lord's, his name on the [honours] board, a big achievement.

RS: A big achievement, he will remember this all and do not forget, this is his first five-wicket haul. It should do wonders to his confidence; he got the ball to swing. He is a lot quicker than he looks. If you ask the batsmen they will tell that he actually hits the bat. I'm glad he used the short ball to good advantage. He generates pace with that ball off the pitch; he got two wickets with that delivery, I think he bowled well.

SV: Chasing 380, you think India's batsmen could have something different to end the day on a higher note?

RS: I thought the opening partnership was very positive, Dinesh Karthik in particular, positive with his footwork. What is important is one of the top four to get a big hundred, like what Pietersen did for England. Unfortunately Wasim Jaffer was out to a soft dismissal, over pitched on leg stump, chipping it to square leg. And Rahul Dravid I thought was a little unlucky, you cannot blame the umpire he does not have the benefit of action replay. The question was whether he struck in line or not. Sachin Tendulkar was disappointing, because he is one of the best players in the world. He could have easily used the bat; you know that umpires these days give you out if you do not offer a shot. His pad was behind the bat and Steve Bucknor made the right decision. That was a soft dismissal. He got off to a start once again, and it was important that he was there till end of play. And tomorrow if India had eight wickets in hand there was a chance of not only drawing the game. But if we had a full day's game, you never know because the pitch is still good. Not a single wicket has fallen because of the pitch behaving badly.

SV: Lastly Ravi, what does a batsman say to himself at the end of the 4th day looking to the 5th day with a target like this?

RS: Be positive. You have got to mix caution with aggression. If you allow the bowlers to dictate terms be rest assured you're going to go nowhere. You can go out and bat for an hour without losing a wicket. But, because you're in a negative mindset it will allow Michael Vaughan to attack and have more men in catching positions and that will bring about your downfall. I think Karthik is the key he has batted extremely well, if he continues to be positive it is good from India's point of view.

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