Malik blames batting and the sun after India loss
NEW DELHI, November 26: Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik bemoaned his team’s poor second innings batting and a lack of sunshine in wintry Delhi after his team suffered a six-wicket defeat by India in the first Test on Monday.
Pakistan batsmen flopped in both innings, bowled out for 231 and 247, leaving India to chase a modest target of 203 on a slow Feroz Shah Kotla pitch.
Malik said the total was inadequate for leg spinner Danish Kaneria to come into play and the lack of strong sunshine meant the wicket did not break up when India batted last. “We were 100 runs short in the second innings,” Malik said.
“Whoever is the spinner, he needs some amount of time to get the batsmen out. “If the sun had shone on this pitch, it would have behaved differently. From the day the match started, it hardly got any sunshine.”
He praised strike bowler Shoaib Akhtar for his strong Test comeback, taking six for 102 in his first Test since January, including all four Indian second innings wickets. “Shoaib was outstanding in this Test and his performance is great for the Pakistan team.”
He rejected criticism the team lacked the aggression of past Pakistan teams, particularly against their traditional rivals. “Everything was there, aggression, passion everything,” he said. “If we had scored 300 in the second innings the result would have changed. “We didn’t do well in batting,” he said. “My own form is good but I unfortunately got out. I’m looking forward to the next two matches.”
Pakistan are hopeful fast bowler Umar Gul would regain fitness before the second Test starting in Kolkata on Friday after missing the opening game due to a back problem. “Gul is much better. He will have a fitness test in the next day or two.”