India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore, 5th day

Inzamam - `The only option was attack'

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan at Bangalore

March 28, 2005

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After a near-perfect 100th Test, Inzamam-ul-Haq spoke to the press at Bangalore to praise his team's ability to produce consistent fightbacks throughout the series, adding that he felt his back-up bowlers did a great job on the final day.



Inzamam-ul-Haq: praised his team's bouncebackability© Getty Images
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On what this win means for Pakistan cricket
It's very good for the team. This is a young side and such wins will help give the team confidence. The side that wins in matches between India and Pakistan really gains in confidence.

On his hopes of a victory at the lunch break
I thought it was a tough task at that stage. But the pitch started helping the bowlers after lunch and I knew that a batsman who is new to the wicket will struggle. My only option was to attack and it paid off.

About India's approach after Virender Sehwag's dismissal
The moment they lost Sehwag, they went on the defensive and that surprised me. That helped us set attacking fields and pick up quick wickets.

On Shahid Afridi's performance
He gave us the crucial breakthroughs with the ball. When the main bowlers struggled we turned to him and he performed every time.

On his analysis of the series
We lost the second Test after being in a great position. We played well in the first and third. Today we thought the first session was crucial and even though we got just one wicket we managed to equal the series.

On the moment when he was sure of victory.
Sachin Tendulkar's wicket was very important. But even before we got him out we had the other end open with the tailenders batting. So I was confident after we got four or five wickets.

On the lessons learned in Australia
It was a really tough tour. We had to play some tough cricket there. A few players were missing on that tour because of injuries. Even here we had a young and inexperienced team but I was confident that we would do well. We came back from behind and that's very creditable.

On Mohammad Sami's improvement over the series
He needed some confidence. There were times when he bowled very well but didn't pick up wickets. He was very important today.

On the importance of the toss
It was crucial. Once we put a high score, we could afford to attack. India came under pressure then.

On his personal performance in the game
It was my 100th Test and I played well but it was most memorable because we won and equalled the series. I dedicate this win to the people of Pakistan.

On his bowlers getting more from the pitch than the Indian bowlers
I thought they bowled better.

On the best players for Pakistan through the series
Everyone contributed. Younis Khan had a great series. Danish Kaneria bowled very well. Afridi did well in the two Tests he played and Sami constantly improved.

On his team's victory even without Shoaib Akhtar
He will still be my strike bowler when he returns. But others have done well in his absence. Even the back-up bowlers did the job. I'm happy that we won the game without a few key players.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is on the staff of Cricinfo.

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