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We'll come down hard on Pak: Rajput

Indian cricket manager Lalchand Rajput backs the team's resilience, promising to make a strong comeback in the 3rd ODI.

cricket Updated: Nov 10, 2007 22:23 IST

India may have surrendered the lead in Mohali but team manager Lalchand Rajput has enough trust in the side's resilience and he promised to hit back with a vengeance in the third ODI against Pakistan.

India comprehensively beat Pakistan in the series opener in Guwahati before the visitors drew level in Mohali. Admitting there is hardly any margin for error in the remaining three matches, Rajput, however, assured that India would bounce back tomorrow.

"It is a crucial game tomorrow but we have bounced back from similar position in the past. We are hoping to come down hard on them," Rajput told reporters in a hastily arranged press conference this evening.

Rajput refused to press the panic button after the four-wicket defeat in Mohali, a match in which the bowlers could not defend a total as high as 321.

"I think it was one of those matches when a partnership took the game away. Full credit to Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq.

"It was their partnership that took the game away from us. They applied themselves in the match and got the reward," he said.

He, however, admitted that the Indian bowlers were yet to overcome their middle over blues.

"Yes, it has been a problem that we did not get those wickets when we needed them. We have discussed the issue and devised a plan. Actually, sometimes your plans click and sometimes don't. I hope it works this time."

The Indian team arrived here from Lucknow too late to either have nets or a look at the pitch but Rajput was not worried.

"Boys have been playing non-stop cricket for the last five months. It being the Diwali week, we did not get grounds. But I think players at this level should be able to adjust fast to conditions.

"And it would be the same with Pakistan too," he said.

Though he did not disclose the team, Rajput did not rule out playing a second spinner, if wicket demands so.

"We are going early morning to have a look at the strip and if the nature of the track demands so, we might be tempted to field a second spinner."

He also defended the decision to include Virender Sehwag at the cost of in-form Murali Kartik in Mohali.

"Well, in hindsight, it may seem that we did a mistake by leaving out Murali. But the wicket there generally helps seamers and so I think there was nothing wrong with the decision."