Taufeeq Umar, the Pakistan batsman, defended his side's cautious batting approach on the third day of the Mirpur Test, saying that the plan was to first get close to Bangladesh's 338 without losing too many wickets. "I think we were on the back foot [initially] and we would have been in deeper trouble had we lost two, three early wickets," Taufeeq said. "We wanted to get closer to the [Bangladesh] runs and then see how it stands.
"We wanted to stay at the wicket and wait for the bad deliveries. I think we were quite successful. Now we are in a good position and we will accelerate tomorrow and see how the things are going."
The safety-first batting strategy has worked well for Pakistan so far as they have won five out of nine Test matches this year. Taufeeq, whose patient accumulation at the top of the order has characterised this approach, made 130 today, his third century in 2011. He has made 828 runs this year, the most by a Pakistan batsman in 2011.
Taufeeq said that his batting style was dictated by the instructions of the team management. "It all depends on what the team needs from you. If the captain and the coach say that you have to survive the new ball and then play shots, you have to do that."
He also said that while every Test hundred was important, the 236 that he made against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi earlier this year stood out for him. "I scored a double hundred against Sri Lanka and that was very special because I had not made a double hundred before. I think that century [104 against Bangladesh in Multan in 2001] was the best one because that was on my debut and I will always remember that century."
With only two days left in the game which has been affected by fog and bad light, Taufeeq maintained that Pakistan still had time to force a result. "Definitely we have got two days to go but it all depends on the weather. I still believe we have a chance. We have a world-class bowling attack that can bowl out any side if they get two sessions. If we can take a good lead we will try our best to win this game."