December 1, 2000

Moin optimistic about first innings lead

Faisalabad, Nov 30: Pakistan captain Moin Khan was confident that his team would be able to take a handy first innings lead over England in the second cricket Test.

"I think we were 50-60 runs short. But having picked three England wickets is a good achievement. I am hopeful that we would capitalize from this situation," Moin said, adding: "There will certainly be a result in this Test."

The wicketkeeper said he would love to see his bowlers restrict England to under 175. He added that having three spinners of different quality, it was not asking for too much.

"We have a wrist spinner and two finger spinners off whom one gives air and the other bowls a bit flatter. The wicket has started to do the tricks and it will only deteriorate as the match would progress," Moin observed.

Moin was extremely pleased with the way Danish Kaneria made his Test debut. He said: "It is not easy to pull the team out of hot waters when you are batting for the first time for your country.

"When he bowled, he looked impressive. He turned the ball and intelligently used the variety he has. The best thing I have seen in him is that he is patient. Unlike many spinners, he waits to pick wickets rather than getting frustrated or irritated when batsmen are blocking the deliveries or using the pads."

Moin defended poor strokes played by his batsmen when he said it is always difficult for a stroke-maker to stop his shots. "The Pakistanis are natural stroke-makers. They like to hit the ball hard. Of course it hurts when the same shots which normally produce runs lead to their dismissals.

"There are always so many ifs and buts. I am not bothered by them at all though I am not particularly pleased with a couple of shots played by our batsmen.

"I agree that the batsmen also have to learn to occupy the crease, show patience and bat with discipline."

Moin said Javed Miandad, the team coach, was working extremely hard on the batsmen to infuse patience in them. But he said with a smile: "Bad habits take time to go."