Pakistan v India, 2nd Test, Lahore, 1st day April 5, 2004

'I am now confident I can do well in Tests' - Yuvraj

Anand Vasu and Osman Samiuddin in Lahore

Yuvraj Singh and Umar Gul, the stars of the show, spoke to the media after the first day's play at Lahore.

Yuvraj Singh: got an opportunity, and made it count © AFP
Yuvraj Singh

On what he was thinking when India were 147 for 7
We had lost wickets and I was under a bit of pressure. I just wanted to stay till the end, till the last wicket fell. Irfan [Pathan] batted well and we were able to stay around at the wicket.

On the fact that he might be dropped for the next Test, despite his century, when Ganguly returns
I'm not concerned about that. All I want to do is perform and get runs in whatever cricket I get a chance to play. I don't care about that [being left out].

On the pitch
There was a bit in the wicket for the bowlers. But we didn't bat as well as we should have either. Still, we have got decent runs on the board and that gives us a chance to try and get them out.

On the aggressive manner in which he batted
I knew that I would get runs if I played my shots. There's no point getting out, going back to the dressing-room and then wondering if you should have played more positively. I just wanted to play the bowling on merit. In Tests there's more time to settle down, and I took time to do that. But in the end you have to play your natural game.

On what this innings means to him
This innings gave me a lot of confidence. I now have the confidence that I can do well in Test cricket also.

On what he told Pathan when the two batted together
I told him that he is a good batsman and that he should bat carefully. I told him to just watch the ball and play straight. He has done well in the past and I just wanted him to hang around with me.

Umar Gul: a pretty good day at the office © AFP

Umar Gul

On his top-order wickets today
I didn't really think about the batsmen I was bowling to. It wasn't like I thought `I am bowling to Sachin [Tendulkar] or [Rahul] Dravid.' I had the same feeling when I was bowling to all of them.

On the advice he received from the team management
Inzamam-ul-Haq and Javed Miandad have both worked very hard with me on my bowling. They stressed that I bowl a consistent wicket-to-wicket line and it paid dividends.

On the pitch
I knew it would be a seaming one and I thought I could do well on it. I didn't really think that I would perform as well as I eventually did.

On playing against India
I wasn't tense or nervous at all. Everyone in the squad had been told that there was a chance that they could be involved in the Test a couple of nights ago, so I prepared as if I would play. I only found out this morning that I was playing.

On his absence from the field after his spell
I am okay. I was just suffering from some cramps because I hadn't been drinking enough water through my spell, but I am fine now.

On his physical fitness
It really changed on the tour to New Zealand [in 2003-04]. I played in the first Test there but sat out for the remaining games. But the team doctors made it a point to work very hard on the players who weren't in the playing XI. They worked very hard on our physical training and strength and I have really benefited from that tour.