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April 6, 2004
On a day of hard grind, Pakistan's batsmen put together a disciplined, no-frills performance to eke out a first-innings lead and end the day in a position of considerable strength. Both Inzamam-ul-Haq and Imran Farhat put flair and risk to one side, and instead concentrated on patience and restraint, and scored their first centuries against India.
On building up a lead
Bearing in mind our current position, we will look to score between 500 and 600 runs, so that we build up a lead of between 250 and 300 runs.
On the tiff with Anil Kumble
It was nothing special really. We just had a little chat and things are okay between us now.
On the pitch
The wicket played well today. There was something in it for the bowlers. The Indians bowled really well on it and at no stage did it feel that we were getting away with the scoring rate. There is some help for the bowlers and if the batsmen knuckle down and concentrate, then it is a good pitch for them as well.
On bouncing back after the innings defeat at Multan
The boys have worked very hard in the nets. It is good to see them bounce back - I always said it is a matter of one good session and Umar Gul gave that to us yesterday morning. This lifted us and it has lifted our performance as well.
On Pakistan's tendency to relax when in a good position
I just pray that it doesn't happen.
On what he would have done had he won the toss
I would have bowled because I felt there was some life in the wicket. I still feel that our bowling remains our main strength.
On Umar Gul's absence at Multan
If I knew he was going to bowl like this beforehand then I would have picked him. But the three pace bowlers we did pick were the best we have.
On Shoaib Akhtar
He is out of form at the moment and struggling with his rhythm. There is also a lot of pressure on him to perform but the good thing is that he is continuing to work extremely hard in the nets. His hard work will pay off and I'm sure he will rediscover his rhythm.
On the prospect of bowling India out again
They have a world-class batting line-up - there is no doubt about that. What we need to do is put pressure on them by building up a big lead. If we bowl like we did in the first innings then we can do it again.
On the responsibility and pressure on him at the start of the innings
There was some pressure on me at the start. We had to take the lead first, but I played the innings ball-by-ball. The plan was basically to occupy the crease for as long as possible, and we succeeded. It was a good knock. I think any time the team needs an innings and you respond to that it is a good innings. So in that sense it was one of my better knocks.
On chasing a target in the fourth innings
It is generally difficult to play in the fourth innings, chasing a target, whether it is big or small. That is why we are trying to build up as big a lead as possible first.
On his century and the pressure the inclusion of Imran Nazir put on him
There was no such pressure at all. The coach and captain had full confidence in me.
On planning his innings
Our plan was to spend as much time on the pitch as possible. Taufeeq Umar and myself wanted to see off the new ball and ensure that the batsmen who came in afterwards didn't have to cope with that problem and would feel comfortable. I visualized the innings beforehand and it worked so I am happy with that.
On who he dedicated his innings to
I want to dedicate this to my family. They really wanted me to perform against India and I am glad that I have not let them down. The century against South Africa was good but I really enjoyed this one.
Haroon Rashid - Pakistan's manager
On the injuries to Moin Khan, Shabbir Ahmed and Abdul Razzaq
The tests we carried out on Moin's groin strain have come back clear and he will be considered fit to play in the last Test. Shabbir Ahmed's shin problem is still persisting and his status will be clearer in a day or two. Abdul Razzaq's hip problem is not that serious and he will return to full fitness in a couple of days, and therefore be considered for the last Test.
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