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Match crucial but India confident, says Uthappa

Robin Uthappa feels that the fourth one-day international against Pakistan, is "crucial" and that a confident India would prefer winning the series against Pakistan at Gwalior.

cricket Updated: Nov 14, 2007 20:27 IST

Terming the fourth cricket one-dayer as a "crucial" match, middle order batsman Robin Uthappa said a confident India would like to clinch the series against Pakistan here tomorrow.

Uthappa said the match could go either way but the Indians were deriving confidence from the fact that they again snatched the lead at Kanpur and their morale was high for tomorrow's day-night clash at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium.

"I think it is a huge confidence ahead of the fourth one-dayer. The last two games could have been gone either way and we did well to come back in Kanpur after the Mohali game. The team's morale is pretty high and we are looking forward to the match," he told reporters on the eve of the match.

Asked if the players were under pressure to wrap up the series against the arch-rivals, the Karnataka batsman said the challenge would bring out the best of the team.

"Pressure is good in any format of the game. Against Australia it brought the best out of us and made us ready for this series. There is pressure in this series as well, as it still can go either way. But we are confident of doing well, as we are on top of our game," he said.

Uthappa refused to agree that the ongoing India-Pakistan series was lacking in intensity.

"I can promise that nothing has taken out the punch from an Indo-Pak series. It is still intense and still hostile as it used to be on the field. We still play it tough on the field."

Uthappa supported the rotation policy being adopted in the team, saying "a lot of cricket is being played these days and obviously you need to take some time off from it. A fast bowler runs almost 12 km a during one match. You body needs to recover from that stress and workload. We certainly need some rest because we have been playing a lot of cricket in the last six months or so."

Asked about his favourite position in the batting order, Uthappa said he would play at any spot the team wanted him to bat.

"As long as I am contributing to the team's cause, it does not matter to me where I am batting. I can bat anywhere."

Team manager Lalchand Rajput said the team would play to win the series but the final XI was yet to be decided.

"Our aim is to win the series. If we can finish the task here on the morrow, it will be great. We will decide the playing XI later, after assessing all the factors," he said.

Rajput said it was a high-scoring track and dew would be a factor as the match would be played under floodlights.

"The pitch is good and we think the game would be a high-scoring one. There will be the dew factor in the second session like it had happened in Mohali," he said.

First Published: Nov 14, 2007 20:20 IST