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'I need to convert starts into big ones'

Opener Wasim Jaffer admits that the team knows how important The Oval Test is and the players are in the right frame of mind.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2007 18:30 IST

Having matured as a batsman in the last few years, opener Wasim Jaffer said he was working on being consistent to contribute more substantially to the Indian cricket team.

"I need to convert starts into a big one. We all know how important The Oval Test is and we're in the right frame of mind," Jaffer, who scored 48 and 55 to play a vital role in drawing the practice game against Sri Lanka 'A', said.

Jaffer said his experience of playing in England in 2002 has helped him become wiser and mature.

"I was four years younger then. That tour changed me completely. I learnt quite a lot. I went back to domestic cricket and corrected whatever mistakes I'd made. It made me determined to make a comeback and I'm more mature now," he said.

Unlike other County teams, Sri Lanka 'A' proved to be quite a handful for the Indian team, giving them a tough time in the final session.

"All the 'A' teams that tour get these games which are very important. If I would have come as an 'A' tour player I would have taken this very seriously. The competition is very strong compared to county cricket," Jaffer said.

Explaining India's gameplan going into the final day, Jaffer said, "We thought they would set us a rate of 4.5 or five an over and we would have gone for it. They set us a higher rate and it was tough. We went for it initially but later had to play out."

"Yuvraj (Singh) and (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni got out and Rahul (Dravid) was supposed to bat later. But even when he was out the wicket was playing well. Gautam (Gambhir) was batting well and Ramesh (Powar) can bat. So the mood in the dressing-room was okay."

After being reduced to 162 for 6, India were rescued by Gautam Gambhir and Ramesh Pawar (14 not out), who survived the final hour and saved the team a lot of embarrassment ahead of the Oval Test.

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