'I don't know how you Indians live here'
Sourav Ganguly and Lou Vincent were much talked about on the final day of the Ahmedabad Test. Ganguly, for letting things drift and being unable to force a win; Vincent, for his mastery of the conditions and the Indian spinners. Here's what they had to say:
On India's bowling performance: I thought we bowled pretty well. The pitch got slower and slower as the game progressed, and there was not much help for the bowlers. I thought they tried very hard.
On the surface: It's the responsibility of the BCCI pitches committee to prepare wickets accordingly, which they have not done here.
On the pressure on India at Mohali: I thought we dominated them here, so there won't be too much pressure. It will be a different surface in Mohali, and if we can put up the runs on the board, we should win. But to win the series, we have to win there, so that's the bottomline.
On his groin infection: The infection has not healed very much, but it is better than on the first day. We'll have to wait for a couple of days to see.
On why he started off proceedings on the fourth day with Kumble and Balaji: There wasn't much for the spinners, and I thought Balaji bowled well in this Test. He had gotten Robbie Hart the night before and had troubled Paul Wiseman a few times. He brought the ball into the batsman too. I thought he bowled well and was unlucky not to get wickets.
On the playing XI for Mohali: Playing five specialist bowlers is definitely a thought. With Ajit Agarkar coming in for the injured Aavishkar Salvi, we can afford that. But we'll have to wait and see the pitch before deciding
On his innings: In the morning it was a pretty tough situation. India had 18 overs at us last night and went all out to get a few wickets. After Zaheer Khan performed well in the first innings and took three early wickets, it was important for somebody to hang in there and see the shine off the ball. I was surprised to see Mark Richardson go, because he had been in good form for New Zealand.
If we'd had a good couple of sessions, we could have set up a good chase in the final hour or so, but things didn't turn out that way. As you could probably have seen, I was gutted to get out. I was disappointed to miss out on a century.
On the wicket: It was pretty flat, although the footmarks were getting rather nasty by the time the game ended. It's my first Test in India, and I don't know much about pitches here. It had both spin and bounce, though, and in my limited experience, I thought it was a good Test wicket.
On perceived friction between Anil Kumble and Stephen Fleming on the field: I didn't see any, from where I was, but it's always like a war out there. If, from a spectator's point of view, I saw the teams applauding each other's runs and wickets, I'd think: "What are the wallies doing?"
On New Zealand's strategy for the Mohali Test: Well, we'll have to see. Right now, we're just happy to get through this little battle. We lost only five wickets in the final day to two world-class spinners, so we're pretty happy about that.
On the heat: Ah, I don't know how you Indians live here! It's so uncomfortable! But as professional athletes who play so much in Asia, it's important to adjust and be able to perform regardless of the conditions.