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Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Ahemdabad: Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly on Saturday defended his team's slow batting, saying the team had no chance of chasing a 374-run target to win the second Test against England.[an error occurred while processing this directive]"The pitch was slow and we knew the moment we started going for runs, Nasser (Hussain) would go on the defensive," said Ganguly after his team settled for a draw."Getting four or more runs in an over on this pitch would have been very difficult," he said. "Even though we were well placed after lunch, but when Das (Shiv Sunder) got out we still needed more than 250 in less than two sessions. That was quite a bit against a defensive field. We then looked to merely bat the day out."England captain Nasser Hussain said the nature of the pitch and his inexperienced bowling were the reasons for not declaring the second innings on Friday."The fact that we did not declare had nothing to do with losing the series here," he said. "It was because of the nature of the wicket. The wicket was not as bad as everyone was making it out to be."Our bowling line up is an inexperienced one and the bowlers have toiled and toiled. Ashley Giles was coming back from a lay-off, Hoggard and Flintoff had niggles. I thought it was a pretty fair target we set India on a flat wicket."It is an inexperienced side and the last Test was a real eye-opener," he said. The England skipper said his team, even without a consistent Graham Thorpe, played the Indian spinners well here after faltering against the slow bowlers in the opening match.Thorpe, one of the best batsmen against spin, returned home earlier in the week due to personal problems."In the ideal world I would sit here and say 'we did it for Thorpe' but in India that only gets you about one per cent. Without being too emotional, he is a very popular member of our side. We wish him well and the sooner he comes back playing for us, the better."

Copyright AFP 2001

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