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Home > Cricket > Pakistan's tour of India 2007 > Report

It was tough for the bowlers: Kumble

Harish Kotian in Kolkata | December 04, 2007 19:17 IST

India captain Anil Kumble [Images] on Tuesday lauded his bowlers saying they put in a fantastic effort on a tough pitch in the drawn second Test in Kolkata.
"It was tough to bowl on this pitch. It got slower and slower and even when it spun it spun very slowly. Considering the pitch and the conditions I thought our bowlers put in a fantastic effort," Kumble said at the Eden Gardens.
Riding on Younis Khan's unbeaten century (107) Pakistan finished on 214 for 4 after being given a target of 345 in 81 overs to escape with a draw.
Earlier, India batted for 6.4 runs in the morning session scoring 43 runs to secure their position and deny Pakistan even a sniff at victory. With such a huge target to chase, it was obvious Pakistan could only bat for a draw on a fifth day pitch.
"We probably needed more time but that's the best time I could manage after they avoided the follow-on. Ideally it would have been good to have the opportunity to give them the follow-on. But with that not happening I thought the best thing was to give ourselves 80 overs," Kumble said.

He refused to blame the curators for the flat track and said the weather conditions are to be blamed.
"It's winter here so there's a bit more moisture in the surface, so even if the sun comes out, and it's not really harsh, the wicket tends to be on the slower side. Maybe that's one of the reasons. It's produced two good Test matches, but not really for the bowlers. It's been really tiring for the bowlers to try and ensure that 20 wickets are taken. We did really well to get at least 14," the veteran said.
Kumble, playing in his eighth Test at the Eden Gardens, said the previous pitches had more pace and aided the bowlers more.
"They had a bit more pace and that really helped. As the game progressed there were a few footmarks, and as the ball landed in them, the ball carried," the ace leggie said.

India dropped nearly three catches in the first innings, including those of centurions Misbah-ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal, and quite rightly the captain was upset.

"We had our chances in the first innings that we probably should have taken. On these kinds of surfaces, where you know it's tough to get wickets, half chances matter. Overall catching is something we need to improve on," Kumble said.
He also slammed Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson's claims that the visitors got the moral victory as they escaped with a draw.
"I don't believe in moral victories. It's really crazy. I don't know why people talk about moral victories. When you struggle to pick up five wickets in both innings that's no moral victory to me. To me what matters is the result and I think overall we dominated the match over the five days," the 37-year-old said.
He also stated that off-field issues concerning Dilip Vengsarkar and Gary Kirsten were never a distraction. "This is the first time I'm hearing this. It was never a distraction."
The veteran bowler also praised Pakistan batsman Misbah-ul-Haq for his unbeaten century (161) in the first innings that helped them avoid the follow-on.

  • Pakistan's tour of India 2007

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