India v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 3rd day March 18, 2005

Kumble - 'We're back in the game'

Cricinfo staff

Whether he has 0 for 80 or 5 for 40, Anil Kumble always bowls with the same grit and intensity. On the third day he prised out vital wickets as India clawed their way back into the match, dismissing Pakistan for 393. The last eight Pakistani wickets fell for the addition of just 112 runs. Kumble spoke to the media at the end of the day's play.



Anil Kumble: as gritty a performance as ever © Getty Images

On the state of the match
We are back in the game. From yesterday's score, to be 150 ahead on the third day with seven wickets still in hand is a great position to be in. We knew that we needed one wicket to break the partnership. We couldn't get that yesterday. Inzy's wicket too was crucial. Getting those wickets early was the key to getting the lead.

On the Indian strategy
We kept the pressure up, didn't give away a lot of easy boundaries. Yesterday, the wicket was good, the ball was hard and carrying on to the bat. They ran very well and that made the difference. Today we kept the pressure up from both ends and didn't concede too many boundaries which is why we got the breakthroughs. Bhajji [Harbhajan Singh] got the crucial wicket of Kamran.

On the below-par showing on the second day
Don't expect things to happen on a second-day wicket. But it is important for us to bat a long time tomorrow. We need to be more than 300-plus ahead, but it's not easy to bat on the last day. That's the game-plan. Hopefully, Rahul [Dravid] and Sourav [Ganguly] will take us ahead tomorrow. We would like to extend our lead and play for as long as we can so that we can be in a position where we can attack all the time in the fourth innings. To have three or four men around the bat at all times will be an ideal situation with two spinners bowling.

On whether India were in the driver's seat
It's too early to decide. A lot depends on how we go to lunch tomorrow.

On Dinesh Karthik's wicketkeeping
He did a good job. There was a bit of uneven bounce. The ball was coming off the rough. Mohali is history and it is important for us to do well here.