Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson wouldn’t have been too happy with the first day’s proceedings at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The score of 210-8 is, after all, hardly what he would have expected from his team.
But Lawson chose to play it down at the post-match press briefing. “That is because the batsmen did not make good shot selections,” he said adding, “The match is far from over. And let’s not forget that the ball is moving, a good indication for our pacers.”
He later justified his team’s decision to bat after winning the toss. “It’s always difficult to bat in the fourth innings as the pitch is completely worn out by then. That was high on our minds.”
But he was all praise for Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Sami, who virtually saved Pakistan the blushes. The duo had put on 68 runs for the ninth wicket with Misbah unbeaten on 71 and Sami on 20. “Sami supported him (Misbah) well with the bat,” said Lawson.
Later, Sourav Ganguly, who according to him and coach Lalchand Rajput was nominated to address the media, said, “There has to be a partnership on such a flat wicket, but credit goes to Sami for a good stand.”
“Still if we let them (Pakistan) pile up more than 300 runs tomorrow it would be a really bad effort from our side.”
Ganguly too admitted that the morning dew and the misty conditions did assist the bowlers. “That was an advantage for us. And our bowlers effectively utilised the morning dew.” About the pitch, he said, “It was seaming a bit in the morning and then a little after lunch, but later on the wicket had eased on.”
Praising Anil Kumble’s captaincy, he said, “It was fantastic. In fact, even before he was appointed as skipper, I knew that he was capable. He set a good field and made good use of the bowlers and then went on to take three wickets.”
“The best part was that he made me bowl 12 overs today,” said Ganguly with a smile.
Showering praises on Munaf Patel he said, “I am very happy with his performance. He made a good comeback. His attitude was just right and so was his fitness.”
Asked how he rated his own performance especially considering that players like Yuvraj Singh are pushing for their place in the Test squad. “That is true, Yuvraj is knocking on the door, but if you look at my performance, it has been good. I have been consistently performing and will continue to do that.”