'We thought it was a catch'

Mohammad Kaif said the appeal against Pietersen, which was turned down by the third umpire could have been the turning point on the 4th day.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 20:02 IST

Middle order batsman Mohammed Kaif on Saturday said the appeal against England's Kevin Pietersen which was turned down by the third umpire could have been the turning point on the penultimate day of the first Test.

"We thought it was a catch and so we appealed. The umpire turned it down. It could have been the turning point as Kevin Pietersen played such a good knock and took the momentum away," said Kaif.

Pietersen was on 36 when a caught and bowled appeal by Anil Kumble was turned down by third umpire I Shivram. The lanky batsman went on to score 87.

After repeated TV replays, Shivram ruled the batsman not out after the matter was referred to him by on-field umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Howell who were not sure whether the ball had hit the turf off the bat before being caught by Kumble.

Admitting that the Indians had an off day on the field when the home team fielders dropped several catches, Kaif also praised England for the way they batted.

"It was not a great day for us. England played very well. Pietersen played a good knock. He got the momentum going. Cook too played a good knock. It was his first Test in India."

But Kaif was confident the Indian team can fight its way out of trouble on the final day because of the way it has performed over the last four months.

"We have been in this position before. The team has been performing well over the last four months. It has chased 600 plus totals in Pakistan. But we need to go out there and bat well," the UP player, who made a fine 91 in the Indian first innings score of 323, said.

About his stint in Test cricket, which has seen him play only eight Tests since his debut, Kaif said that getting a few opportunities to play at the highest level of the game was very important for any player to perform well.

"It has been a long journey so far. I have been playing well. For any player getting a couple of opportunities to play in a row is important. I needed to play well here," he said.

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 19:52 IST