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Draw will be a big boost: Misbah

December 03, 2007 18:32 IST

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Pakistan's batting hero Misbah-ul Haq says it will be a big boost for his team even if it can escape with a draw against India in the second Test in Kolkata.

"I think, psychologically, [draw] will be a big boost for us. We lost the toss and batting second was not easy on the third and fourth day.

"India batted in good conditions and put up a big total, so definitely the pressure was on us. It was not easy to score… to bat second in those conditions.

"So if a team fights back in such tough conditions, the confidence level is boosted and that is what happened to us. If we manage to draw the Test, it will be good for us," said the 33-year-old at the end of the fourth day's play in the second Test.

Misbah was responsible for Pakistan's fightback, as they rallied them from a precarious 150 for 5 to a competitive 456 in their first innings. The right-hander, who remained unbeaten on a magnificent 161, added 207 runs for the sixth wicket with Kamran Akmal, who scored 119.

The 33-year-old chose to dedicate his maiden Test century to his son, who celebrated his birthday on Sunday.

 "It is a good thing to remember that I scored my first century on my son's birthday. So definitely it was special," he said.

India lead Pakistan by 301 runs and Pakistan face the tough task of having to survive batting last on the final day.

 However, Misbah who is the highest scorer in the series thus far with 288 runs, says Pakistan will come out and play normal cricket on Tuesday.

"In Test cricket you should not have a fixed mindset. As and when the situation comes you must deal with it. If the Indian team sets a target then we will go there and play normal wicket. If a situation develops, where our openers give us a good start, maybe then we can decide whether to chase the target or just play out the day," he said.

He said his game plan when he came out to bat was quite simple: bat for as long as possible.

 "When you come to bat in the middle order at number five or six you have to bat according to the match situation. An experienced bowler like [Anil] Kumble was bowling on a third day's wicket which had broken a lot and it was difficult so you have to apply yourself. So I was only thinking of this when I was in the middle --- that I get a good ball then its fine, but I won't make a mistake," he said.

"I think the wicket was helping the spinners a lot yesterday and today. Yesterday it was giving bounce and turn for Harbhajan Singh. The wicket definitely has turn but if a batsman applies himself and plays proper cricket he can score runs," the Pakistan batsman added.

Misbah said the post-tea session on the third day was crucial and Pakistan did well to avoid the follow-on.

"The session after tea on day three was important because the Indian team put a lot of pressure on us. That was a critical session. After that day, the morning session [on day 4] was crucial because anything could have happened if they had got the follow-on. We could have batted again, so those 2-3 hours that we batted was crucial," he said.

The right-hander said there was nothing wrong with India's tactics as the bowlers tried their best.

 "I don't think so (that India lost the match tactically). They tried their best efforts with the ball. But the partnership between me and Kamran was also good. Every team fights back and that is how cricket goes on," he said.

He also showered rich praise on Akmal, who was under pressure before this knock because of his poor showing with the gloves.

"I think Kamran's innings was extra-ordinary; he played superbly."

 Asked about whether he still remembers his dismissal in the Twenty20 World Cup final against India, he replied: "I think T20 is over now."

Harish Kotian in Kolkata