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Probably lucky to pick six: Agarkar

December 15, 2003 17:43 IST

Ajit Agarkar, who led India's bowling charge in the second Test with a career-best six-wicket haul on Monday, said he exploited the tendency of the Australian batsmen to go for their shots to bowl his side to a position of strength.

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"They play positive cricket and usually go for their shots. This aspect of their game helped me today," said Agarkar, who returned dream figures of 16.2-2-41-6 on the penultimate day of the match.

"There was some sort of movement with the ball and it gave me the chance to get some wickets.

"That is the way they play their game. They try to play positive cricket and go for their shots... This gives the bowlers a good chance of getting them out."

Agarkar said he has matured as a bowler and knows his limitations better.

"I know my body a bit better as well as the limitations of my bowling. I don't have the pace of Gillespie [to bowl bouncers], but there is more chance with my physique to get leg before decisions because I have a skiddy action."

The lanky paceman said he is trying to compensate his weaknesses by harnessing his positives.

"What you don't have, you could compensate in other ways."

Agarkar put down his failure with the bat on his first tour to Australia in 1999-2000 as motivation to do well on this tour.

"In my early years I was coming to terms with international cricket. I am more experienced now," Agarkar said while admitting modestly he did not do anything different for his six wickets.

"The ball just came out right. It does not happen every day when you bowl well and pick up six wickets. From the first ball I felt good. I was probably lucky to pick up six wickets."

Agarkar, who has now claimed Justin Langer thrice in the series, said he did not have any particular key to claim the Australian opener's wicket.

"I have got Justin Langer thrice now. The ball swung in at Brisbane and I got him out twice. Here too the conditions helped."

The right-hander, who shared the new ball with debutant Irfan Pathan, said his side knows the importance of picking early wickets "because once the ball gets older, it is tough for bowlers".

This was Agarkar's best figures in any class of cricket -- even in first class matches his best is 6 for 72 and he had up a five-wicket haul only six times.

He felt the wicket is not playing particularly bad and, if anything, it had just gone slower on the fourth day.

"It is probably a bit slower. But we still have to get those runs. I am very confident we will do it though. We have a great opportunity. If we keep our heads down, we should get the job done."

Agarkar's previous best figures have been 3 for 43 on the last tour of Australia when he picked 11 wickets. He now has 12 wickets from only two Tests.

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