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WI batting again no surprise: Laxman

india Updated: Jun 26, 2006 20:52 IST
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Venkatsai Laxman and his Indian teammates were not surprised that West Indies did not enforce the follow-on after the first innings of the third Test at Warne Park.

Laxman scored 100 - his 10th Test hundred - to help India reach 362 in reply to West Indies' first innings total of 581 on Sunday.

"We were not surprised because it's still a good pitch on which to bat and their bowlers were tired, and Pedro Collins had got injured before the end of our innings," Laxman told reporters.

"Harbhajan [Singh] and Munaf [Patel] played brilliantly to get us close to avoiding the follow-on, so it was no real surprise that they decided to bat again."

West Indies were 113 for four in their second innings when stumps were drawn on the penultimate day, giving them a lead of 332.

"The pitch is still good for batting, even though it has become slower and the odd ball is keeping a bit low," Laxman said.

"Chasing the runs will all depend on when the West Indies declare and how many overs in which we have to get the target."

Laxman was thrilled about his knock because it came with India in a tight spot after losing three early wickets and subsiding to 159 for five within the first half hour of the day.

"It is good to get a hundred, especially when the situation demanded it," he said.

"Right from the start of the series, I felt that I was batting well, but it was very important that I got a big score and I am very pleased that when the team really required it, I got it."

He added: "It is always good to get a Test hundred and you always want to do well for your country whenever given an opportunity."

Laxman said he was not too concerned about losing his place in the side despite posting poor scores in the first two Tests.

"When you are playing Test cricket, there will always be competition for places, and in good teams, there is always competition for places," he said.

"When you are playing a match, you do not really think about selection. You go out and play to the situation and give your best.

"You have to concentrate on the things you can control, and leave the rest to the selectors and team management."

Laxman's hundred was his third against West Indies, following 130 at St John's four years ago, and an undefeated 154 at Kolkata later that year.

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