India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore, 2nd day March 25, 2005

'Pressure does not affect me' - Younis

Younis Khan's 267 is the highest score made by a visting batsman in India. He dominated the second day's play, but Harbhajan Singh put in a strong performance for India. The two spoke to the press at the end of the day:



Younis Khan kept his cool and made the Indians pay © Getty Images

Younis Khan

On his chances of getting a triple century
I never thought of getting it, I just played for my team. I never think of statistics and records while playing, I just play for my team.

On the pressure he's faced over the years
I have never played with fear. Pressure does not affect me. I just aim to enjoy my cricket. If I get dropped from the Test side tomorrow, I will go and play cricket somewhere else, and I will continue to enjoy it.

On the difficult parts of the innings
The first and the last few balls are always difficult. If you carry yourself through those, you're OK. And I managed to get through those first few overs today.

On what inspired him
The innings Inzamam played yesterday - but I couldn't play as well as he did.

On batting at No. 3
When I was made vice-captain, people advised me to take the opportunity to bat lower down the order, in a safer position. But I thought of how I had been thrust into the No 3 position in 2000 against the West Indies against [Courtney] Walsh and [Curtly] Ambrose. I did not want to put a young player in that position; I took it upon myself. I shall bat anywhere my team wants me to bat. I'll open if they want me to; I'll bat at No. 10 if they want me to.

On playing Anil Kumble
I played him as if he were an inswing bowler.

On the pitch
There are cracks on the pitch, and we will use those cracks.

On his stay in India
I love it. Everywhere I have gone, people have given me so much love and wished me well. The room service boys, the housecleaning boys, I love this country.

Harbhajan Singh

On choosing to bowl his doosra
Yes, I bowled my doosra. Why shouldn't I? After all, the ICC had cleared it.

On the pitch
It is good for batting, and will remain so. There's not much spin on it, but good bounce. The bounce was more important [than the turn]. I got a fair amount of bounce from the rough which was created by Irfan Pathan.

On the wicket he enjoyed most
Abdul Razzaq's. I tossed the ball up, he tried to play the cover-drive, and I took the catch.

On the controversies plaguing him
I was confident [to get through]. When these things happen, these allegations, how you deal with them shows your character.

On a chat he had with Sunil Gavaskar
He asked me why I was looking so thin.

He told me that I was bowling at just the right pace, and I should continue doing what I was doing.

On what he was discussing with Younis Khan
Oh, it wasn't a heated conversation. But you know, we were speaking in Punjabi, and Punjabi is such a language that even when you have a normal conversatiion in it, it sounds heated.

Amit Varma is contributing editor of Cricinfo. He writes the independent blogs, India Uncut and The Middle Stage.