'Could've bowled better'

 
“We could have bowled a little better, we did give away a few runs by trying too many things,” said Harbhajan, who finished with figures of four for 107 in Sri Lanka’s total of 366 for eight. “Also, we could have fielded a little better. It wasn’t a day where we had all our energies focused. We gave away a lot of runs in the third session, the energy levels were a little low. We have to up for these kind of challenges. If we had created pressure by bowling and fielding well, we could have saved 35-40 runs.”

Harbhajan has been a vocal critic of tracks in India, going to the extent of saying Test cricket would die if matches continued to be played on tracks like the one at Ahmedabad. It was, however, no surprise to hear him praise the Brabourne surface.

“It’s a very, very good track to bat and bowl on,” he noted. “Today, there was a hundred and one batsman is batting on 90. When the seamers bowled in the right areas, something happened for them and for spinners, there has been bounce. This is the kind of wicket we should play Test cricket on.

“I just bowled the way I have been bowling all these days. It’s just time sometimes, depending on the kind of wicket, it gets really difficult to even beat the bat! The Kanpur wicket was tough to bowl on. Lots of edges weren’t carrying to slips, lots of edges were going towards third man. Everyone knows what the story was in Ahmedabad. I am very happy the way I bowled today. It would have been a little better if I had conceded 15-20 runs less.”

Professing faith in his batsmen, Harbhajan remarked, “I have tremendous faith in our batsmen that they will come out and take this challenge and score a lot of runs because the wicket is still very good. The outfield is also very fast, so once the ball leaves the square, it is very difficult to stop. It is a high-scoring ground, so I won’t be surprised when Viru gets going for his score to advance very quickly. Obviously, Murali is the biggest match-winner ever in world cricket. Playing him will be challenging, but we have the batsmen who can handle him. If we get a good start, we will be right on track.”

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