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March 28, 2006
On his recent performances
After being out with injury during the Australia tour I had a point to prove to show that I can be a good allrounder. So I have been working hard on my fitness and every aspect of my game with Tom (Moody), who has helped me a lot. I'm happy with the way I have been approaching my cricket and on the field, I have just been playing my natural game. I have been keeping things simple and things are going well at the moment.
On how his game has developed
Tom has helped me with my technique and also mentally as well. We have recently changed some of my bowling methods, opening up my action slightly and making sure my front arm was pulling down straight. I feel there has been a big improvement since making those changes. I just have to make sure that I am always asking the batsman questions as to whether to play or not.
On his batting
Batting-wise, I have just been trying to adapt to the situation. When I went in on Monday I was just thinking about getting through what was a tough period. They were bowling a good line and length. We knew it would ease-up after lunch and just wanted to survive the first session. Dilshan played brilliantly for his 69 and I gave him company. I'm just disappointed to not get a half-century.
On the progress of the match
After Pakistan started the innings well, we just tried to focus on the basics and that worked for us as we took three quick wickets. Inzamam and Farhat batted well. This morning I was just concentrating on bowling in the right areas rather than looking for seam or swing. That paid off and from the other end, we also kept it tight. Murali took wickets and Malinga (Lasith) chipped in. Then Upul (Tharanga), Sanga (Sangakkara) and Mahela (Jayawardene) batted brilliantly - it was a good day for us.
On the present match situation
We are in the box seat at the moment with a lead of 250-odd with eight wickets in hand. But you never know in cricket and we just want to get a score where we feel we are safe and can win the match. I think around 350 to 400 would be a good target on this pitch.
On the condition of the pitch
The pitch has eased a lot compared to the first day and now it is playing very well. The spinners are getting some bite and jump. It's a good track but when we go out in the second innings to bowl, we'll be looking to be positive and trying to make sure we are hitting the good areas as much as possible.
Charlie Austin is Cricinfo's Sri Lankan correspondentFeeds: Charlie Austin
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?