Port of Spain (Trinidad): Javagal Srinath said on Saturday the dismissal of batting superstar Brian Lara had enhanced India's chances of putting pressure on the West Indies in the second Test.
"I think Zaheer (Khan) did the best by getting the prize wicket of Lara," said veteran paceman Srinath, who grabbed three for 56 to restrict the hosts to 197 for six in reply to India's 339 at the Queen's Park Oval. Left-handed Lara compiled 52 before being caught by debutant wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra off left-arm fast bowler Zaheer. "We couldn't afford Lara to get too many runs. His was the key wicket because as long as he was at the crease, batting looked easy. Zaheer bowled well to get him out." Srinath said his team had a chance of getting other batsmen out once Lara was dismissed. "We were really looking for his wicket. Once we got him out we knew we had a chance of getting others out quickly. "It's a very demanding pitch, when someone like Lara is at the crease because he can hit the good balls all over the place.
But if you bowl well and be patient, you get wickets." After Lara's departure, Srinath removed Shivnaraine Chanderpaul for one and Junior Murray for nought in the same over to put the hosts in a spot. "Being a senior member of the side you have to take more responsibility," said the fast bowler, 32. "Getting wickets quickly is a responsibility shouldered by all the fast bowlers. Of course, with my experience I should lead the attack and the guys are doing pretty well." He said his team now had to take the remaining four wickets quickly. "We have to get them out by 230, but not more than 250 and then put up a sizeable total.
The way the wicket is playing I think it would a tough task for any batsman to come and play well on the last day." Srinath said the teams were more or less evenly matched in batting, but India enjoyed an advantage with the ball. "The teams are evenly matched. Between us we have the two best batsmen in the world. I think we have an upper hand in bowling," he said, adding he was missing leg spinner Anil Kumble. Kumble, only the second Indian after Kapil Dev to have taken more than 300 wickets, was left out of a Test team for the first time since 1990. "I think we miss Kumble. It's little bit hard for a man of his calibre to sit out of the game and I really feel sorry for him, but that's the way things go sometimes."