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'Middle order let Pakistan down'
Harish Kotian in New Delhi | November 26, 2007 14:39 IST
"We were short by 100 runs in the second innings. If you want me to pick one department that did not click, then I would say that our batting failed," Malik said.
Coach Geoff Lawson believes his wards lost the battle of the middle orders against India, which eventually led to the side's six-wicket defeat.
A dejected Lawson pointed out that barring the glorious exception of Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistani middle order cut a sorry figure in the match, while their Indian counterparts came up with a solid show that tilted the scale in the hosts' favour.
"Performance of the (Pakistani) middle order was very disappointing. (Mohammad) Yousuf, Younis (Khan) and the captain (Shoaib Malik) did not score. I was disappointed with Malik's batting," Lawson said.
"Anyway, it was good to see Misbah evolve as a genuine Test player after a slow start to his career."
In contrast, Indian middle order did a smart job, said Lawson.
"(Rahul) Dravid, Sachin (Tendulkar), (Sourav) Ganguly, (VVS) Laxman -- all are quality players and they did very well. I think their middle order made all the difference. Otherwise, there is not much between the two sides," he explained.
Pakistani run-machine Yousuf's contributions in the Kotla Test has been 27 and 18, while Younis (7,23) did not look like the batsmen who feasted on Indian attack till the other day.
Malik said the team will make all possible efforts to try and comeback in the series in the second Test at Kolkata.
"It will be tough for us especially after a defeat in the first Test. We will try and comeback," he said.
For Pakistan, one of few bright spots from this defeat was Shoaib Akhtar's [Images] brilliant bowling in the second innings, when he took four wickets for 58 runs.
"Akhtar bowled brilliantly throughout the match. It will be good for us he will continue bowling in this manner," Malik.
He also sought to protect leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, who didn't live upto expectations on a pitch where Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh [Images] enjoyed far better performances.
"Kaneria had picked four wickets in the first inning. Since we were 100 runs short in the second innings, he could not be effective. Any spinner would need runs to bowl well," Malik said.
The Pakistan captain refused to blame any particular player for the defeat, adding: "It is a team game and we are all responsible."
With inputs from PTI