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Ganguly lauds Akmal, Razzaq's batting

March 12, 2005 20:00 IST

India skipper Sourav Ganguly praised Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq for steering Pakistan to an incredible draw in the first cricket Test, but said the visitors would not gain any psychological advantage from the result.

"They played well to draw the match but I don't think Pakistan will get a big psychological advantage," Ganguly told reporters after the first Test in Mohali on Saturday.

"We played well in this Test but we must give credit to Razzak and Akmal," he added.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Akmal scored his maiden century and was associated in a record 184-run seventh-wicket partnership with Razzaq (71) that denied India victory.

Ganguly disagreed that the slower run-rate by the Indians on the third day had a bearing on the outcome of the match.

"I don't think so. We were in full control of the Test for the first four days and we had their six wickets down with 97 overs left to get them out and score the remaining runs. I don't see any connection [between the slow rate and the match outcome]," he said.

Asked when did India feel that the match was slipping out of their control, Ganguly replied: "When they had a lead of 210 runs and we were left with just 38 overs to get those runs."

The captain also justified his decision to play three seamers in the match.

"You don't judge these things [like the Pakistani tailenders would resist the attack] at the start of the match. The wicket had moisture and our decision [under those circumstances] was pretty fair. We must give credit to Pakistan," he said.

Ganguly dismissed talk that Razzaq and Akmal are tailenders, saying both are good batsmen who can score runs.

"It is not the question of tailenders, but getting two batsmen out," he said.

Regarding the possibility of including Harbhajan Singh in the Kolkata Test, he said, "Somebody like Harbhajan, who has the capacity to extract turn on any surface, it will be hard to leave him out.

"In Kolkata, it gets hot and we will have to see the surface and the wicket [before taking any final decision]."

Ganguly said he played four Tests in Mohali, out of which three were drawn while India tasted victory against England at the venue.

"Unfortunately [the victory] did not happen today," he added.

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