|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Games||Mobile|
Anand Vasu in Kolkata
March 15, 2005
Pre-match press conferences can be a drag for international captains. They get asked endless questions about team compositions and the nature of the pitch. Sourav Ganguly was less than enthused when he met the press, but Inzamam-ul-Haq brought his dry humour to the table and livened things up.
On the suggestion that India lacked the killer instinct in the last match
Everyone has got his own opinion. I don't think we lack killer instinct. We have to give credit for how they [Pakistan] batted under pressure. But we should have sealed the game.
On the pitch at Eden Gardens
They have left a bit of grass on the pitch. It looks similar to the Mohali track. There's a bright chance that we will play three seamers.
On whether India were under more pressure after failing to win the first Test
It's a three-Test series and we came close to winning the first Test. There will be pressure on both teams to win. We will try hard to win this game and I'm sure the same goes for Pakistan.
On the reasons for scoring slowly in the last two sessions of the third day at Mohali
Obviously when Sehwag gets going he scores fast. Also at the start of the innings there are lots of fielders in attacking positions so there are more scoring options. When Sachin [Tendulkar], [VVS] Laxman and myself batted the ball was about 100 overs old and they set defensive fields and had a defensive line of attack. You can't score at six an over against quality opposition for 120 overs in Test cricket.
On Harbhajan Singh coming into the playing XI
There's an option of Harbhajan playing. We will look at the wicket tomorrow and then decide.
On the Pakistan team
I said even before the series that they are a very good team. Young guys want to make a name for themselves and the best platform is an India-Pakistan series.
On whether he is under more pressure to score runs because this is his home ground
When you play for India there is pressure to perform anywhere in the world. I've been trying [to score a hundred here] for the last five Tests but it just has not happened. Hopefully I'll go out there and stay positive and it will come.
On Danish Kaneria's performance in the first Test
He bowled very well but still went for 150 runs. He is a quality bowler. We have to play him well again. He might have got six wickets but we got runs off him too.
On what the team took from the Mohali Test
The performance at Mohali has given us a lot of confidence. If we play with the same spirit we can come up with a better result here. But there is a lot of hard work ahead of us. Even now India are the more experienced side.
On Naved-ul-Hasan's fitness
Rana has a shoulder problem. We are looking at maybe two changes, one in the top order and one in the bowling. Younis Khan will not be dropped.
On the pitch
It looks a good Test wicket. It should be good for the batsmen as well as for seamers, if they are prepared to bowl in the right areas. After two days it will start helping the spinners.
On Kamran Akmal's performance
We all knew Akmal was a very good wicketkeeper. But now he has also performed with the bat. He has gained a lot of confidence and knowing that we have a good batsman lower down the order will definitely help the team.
On the lack of good opening batsmen in Pakistan team
We are trying to unearth good openers through academies. The ones here are young and still learning. They will be better for the experience.
On drawing inspiration from Pakistan's win here in 1999
Everyone knows how we won from a difficult position in 1999. Our record at this ground is good. But each match is a new one. We have to work hard to win here. Not many of our boys have played a Test here, but most have played a one-day international. There is more atmosphere in a one-dayer, and having played here recently will help us.
On the pressure of playing against India
If India and Pakistan play each other more regularly obviously the pressure will be less. But there is always pressure in international cricket, and especially in India-Pakistan matches, but we enjoy that.
Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo.
Even at the height of his success with the national side, Sreesanth was a lonely cricketer who felt hard done by
Sreesanth wasn't the most likeable team-mate or opponent, but he had skill beyond doubt, which we might have seen the last of
Mumbai Indians still have a better head-to-head record against Chennai Super Kings, but once again on the big occasion, they came second
Out of the shattered lives of three young men caught up in allegations of fraud, newer and stronger players must emerge
Plays of the day from the IPL qualifier between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in Delhi
Sunrisers began this tournament as one of the underdogs, but fought impressively to reach as far as the Eliminator
None of the other three England bowlers with 300 Test wickets - or many other of the game's finest swing merchants - could have bowled better than James Anderson at Lord's
Royal Challengers began the season in full steam, but failed to replicate their consistency away from home
Safe & simple online money transfer. Apply Now!
Available now at Cricshop