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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.

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"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.

© Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

South Africa's tour of India: The Complete Coverage

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Number of User Comments: 7

Sub: Indians no better

harbhajan should look at his colleagues in the Indian team before he comments abt the proteas. We have seen the abysmal rate of scoring against ...

Posted by madhu

Sub: What crap ?!?

This same Indian team was jumping up and down after drawing in England and Australia. Harbhajan is the biggest bigot in this team. So does ...

Posted by Bala

Sub: Harbajan Slams slow scoring

In my opinion Harbajan should shut his mouth and bowl (he talks too much).... whether an opposition aims for a win or draw is not ...

Posted by MIlan Israni

Sub: Keep your house in order before criticising others!

I wonder who is Harbhajan to slam SA's slow scoring? That is SA's strategy and it's their sole right to play the way they deem ...

Posted by Shanmuga S S

Sub: What about Indian batsmen other than Sehwag??

I think Bhaji is shooting his mouth too much. The guy should concentrate on his bowling instead. Indian batsmen other than Sehwag and Gautam in ...

Posted by Madhu


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