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Harbhajan slams South Africa's slow scoring
November 29, 2004 20:59 IST
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh joined the chorus of criticism for South Africa's slow scoring in the second and final Test on Monday, saying the visitors are only interested in drawing the series in India.
The tourists batted for almost nine hours for their first innings 305 all out, scoring at just over 2.5 runs per over on a good Eden Gardens pitch.
"The way South Africa batted, they really looked like they didn't want to win the match," Harbhajan told reporters.
His team mates Virender Sehwag and Murali Kartik had also criticised the Proteas during the drawn first Test in Kanpur, where they took more than two days to score their first innings 510 for nine declared.
"They are happy to go at two runs an over; they keep blocking the balls," Harbhajan said. "In the first Test they got runs on the board but took too long, so there was no chance of a result.
"Here we have got them out for a low score. Now we can put pressure on them."
India were 129 for one in reply at stumps, opener Sehwag lashing 82 not out.
"South Africa have not been put under pressure since they got here," he said. "If we put runs on the board, it will be a real test for them."
Harbhajan's attack comes despite captain Sourav Ganguly refusing to blame South Africa's batting in Kanpur.
The spinner said: "I don't think the South Africans should be happy with a draw. Drawing a series in India is not a big achievement, winning is.
"When we go abroad to South Africa or Australia, we are not happy just drawing the series, we play to win wherever we play."
But South African coach Ray Jennings felt the criticism is unfair on his young side which came to India with four uncapped players.
"It's not that they're playing for a draw. If the door opens a little bit, we will push really hard."
Jacques Kallis hit a cautious 121, but Jennings said he could not attack because batsmen following him, such as Zander de Bruyn and debutant Hashim Amla, are too inexperienced.