'Nobody dropped their heads' - Chappell
For the third time in this series, India found themselves with miles of catching-up to do but Greg Chappell, their coach, believes that they can save this game as well. Adding that the pitch was still a good one to bat on, Chappell said that India had a big chance to draw the game and finish the series unscathed.
"It's always tough in a situation like this, when you're behind and doing catch up," he said while talking about the prospect of surviving the final innings. "We've been doing it for three Test matches so it's tough to keep doing it. But these guys have played a lot of cricket and they understand that it's a tough exercise. If you have to do it, you probably couldn't expect a better batting wicket so that's also something that can keep the mind as strong as possible. We have reached unchartered waters, no-one really knows what can happen."
Yet he felt that the faster pace that the Pakistan bowlers were capable of might turn out to be the difference. "It's a very good batting wicket and fast bowlers generally prove to be the difference in Test cricket. They've got a few guys who bowl a bit quicker than we do. So let's wait and see."
He refused to be too harsh on the players and felt that they had done a "great job" in trying circumstances. "They gave it everything they had for the 90 overs," he continued. "There wasn't much bounce, there wasn't much seam movement, there wasn't any swing. So I think it was a good, gutsy effort from all - bowlers, captain, fielders. Nobody dropped their heads at any stage. That's all we can do - give our best each day and hope it's good enough at the end of the five days."
Not willing to blame his players, in hindsight, Chappell was optimistic about India's chances in the next two days. "You can look back at a lot of things and say that we could have done this better or that better but we're actually dealing with the situation on hand. We could have made more runs on the second day but unfortunately we are not in a situation where we can go back and rectify it. It will be hard to win, but there's a possibility that we can. And there's an even bigger possibility that we can save the game. If we can come out of the series having saved some difficult situations, we have something to build on."
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is staff writer of Cricinfo