India v England, 2nd Test, Mohali, 3rd day March 11, 2006

Match is evenly poised - Harmison

Cricinfo staff

'This match has a bit more in the wicket for the big lads' © AFP
After finding some bounce and pace on the third day at Chandigarh, picking up the crucial wicket of Virender Sehwag, Steve Harmison said he was reasonably pleased with the position England find themselves in, and delighted that the pitch offered something more for his style of bowling.

"Luckily, the rain has stayed away and the game is nicely poised," he told Cricinfo after the day's play. "We've got the runs on the board and with the pitching starting to go up and down, we have the [right] seam bowlers to make the most of the conditions."

Harmison was full of praise for Andrew Flintoff and Geraint Jones, who put on 103 for the sixth wicket to edge England past 300.

"I thought it was a fantastic innings by Jones," he said. "Fred [Flintoff] just went about his innings the way [he] does and Geraint made a top knock for the team and it was just disappointing that we couldn't stay with him for longer. He took a good catch as well [to dismiss Sehwag], so he had a good day."

After a disappointingly flat performance at Nagpur, Harmison was thankful for a wicket which offered more for the taller bowlers.

"It's as good as I've felt all tour as the wicket helped me a little bit," he said. "Nagpur wasn't about me bowling as fast as I can or as short as I can. That was a case of hanging in for the spinners. This match has a bit more in the wicket for the big lads.

"I'm not sure what the speed gun was reading but I felt as though I was hitting the high eighties. I've never been a big fan of the speed gun because if you bowl a 90 mph half-volley and it goes for four, it makes no difference. It's about putting the ball in the right areas. I felt like I put the ball in the right areas more often today."