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England v India, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day
'It was a one-man show' - Shastri
July 30, 2007
Zaheer Khan's 5 for 75 put India on the brink of victory on the fourth day of the second Test at Trent Bridge
 
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"This was the best that I have seen Zaheer Khan bowl and what was most refreshing was his attitude", said Ravi Shastri © Getty Images

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan: Hello and welcome to Cricinfo Talk, I am Siddhartha Vaidyanathan and joining me at the end of the fourth day's play at Trent Bridge is former India captain Ravi Shastri. Ravi, a big chance for India to go one up here - on the brink of victory - set up by some outstanding bowling by Zaheer Khan.

Ravi Shastri: Yes, a one man show, as far as I am considered. There were 11 players out there, but for India to be in the position that they are, was because of Zaheer. I thought he was outstanding, he swung the ball both ways and his spell with the second new ball really got India into the driver's seat.

SV: A year ago if somebody said that Zaheer would be spearheading the Test attack, then it might have seemed a bit far-fetched. But, he has come back with renewed hunger and has shown today that he can spearhead the attack ...

RS: He certainly can, and full marks to him for the hard work that he has put in. I spent some time with him in Bangladesh - he is a confident bowler now and he knows his trade, he knows what his strengths are and he focuses on that. He also knows that he is the spearhead of the attack and accepts that responsibility. I thought that his bowling today was outstanding - a fantastic spell - the best I have seen him bowl, and that too on a track that was still good for batting but where the ball was swinging. What was most refreshing was his attitude - he was always up for it - his shoulders never dropped, even though he was putting in spell after spell .

SV: But at the other end was Sreesanth - probably not getting it okay today?

RS: I think he's still far from his best. I think that he is thinking too much - he just has to go back to the basics, focus on his strength - just like Zaheer has done. And he should not allow his mind to be clouded by too many things. If he bowls with a clear mind, that's when he will bowl at his best.

I thought RP Singh bowled well in spells, and it was a terrific delivery that he bowled to get rid of Kevin Pietersen, which really was the wicket India wanted - you could see that in the way the Indians celebrated. He [Pietersen] is the kind of guy, who, if he stays there, will score quickly, and India did not want to get in a state where England were 170-180 runs ahead.

SV: It was India's day, but there was also a fine effort from Michael Vaughan, nevertheless.

RS: Well, [it was] the innings of the Test, by far. He is a class player when in full flow and it was evident today. He played some flowing drives and got into some great positions under pressure, and while he was there at the crease, the pitch seemed to be very good for batting. It's only after he was dismissed, that the game changed on its head. But it was a superb innings, and I particularly liked the way he worked Kumble through the on side - he did not allow him to settle down. I think Kumble had an off day but you must give credit to Vaughan for picking him consistently on the on side.

SV: Lastly, still a few runs to get but not yet the time to celebrate - there's a job still to be done.

RS: Yes, there is still some work to be done. And I hope the Indians are professional enough to be focused and go ahead in a proper manner. They deserve this win, because they have been the better of the two sides. I just hope that they play positive cricket going into The Oval. They shouldn't be a team that likes to sit on the lead - they should go out there positive, looking to go even further up. I think they have played extremely well and they deserve it.

SV: Thanks a lot, Ravi. This is Siddhartha Vaidyanathan signing off from Trent Bridge.

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