WC 2003 - I am comfortable at number four position, says Kaif

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2003, 2:31 [IST]
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Cape Town: Promoted suddenly to the number four slot in the crunch World Cup game against Pakistan, Mohammed Kaif on Wednesday said that this batting position suited him.Kaif, who played an important 36-run knock in crucial partnership with Sachin Tendulkar in that match, said throughout his domestic career, he had batted at number three position for his home state."Number six is never an easy place to bat on. I have batted for my state at number three at all times. You have more time to build your innings at that position," said Kaif who Has always found himself batting in pressure situation while batting at number six position."At number six, you Have only few overs left and no time to settle down. You have to score quickly for the team and there is no time to adjust," he said. "At number four you have more overs to play, could allow yourself to settle down and see how the bowlers are bowling." However, Kaif has played some amazing knocks at the number six slot, the most notable being the match-winning innings against England in the NatWest series final at Lord's last year.But like everyone else, the unassuming right-hander who is also a brilliant fielder, failed miserably on the tour of New Zealand. His failure in the first two matches in the World Cup even invited the wrath of the public in his hometown in Allahabad where his house was stoned and painted black. Kaif confessed he was under pressure while Going into the Pakistan match but also confident of his abilities. "I had not done well in recent times but I have been timing well in the nets and I am sure a big knock will comesooner rather than later," Kaif said. He also thanked Tendulkar for guiding him through that difficult situation in the game against Pakistan. "It was demanding time for me and the team but then Sachin had given a good start and I just wanted to make sure no more wickets fell. "Sachin really helped me out. He kept telling me to spend some time in the middle and runs would surely come," he said. Kaif said the fact that he was familiar with the conditions in South Africa was helping him."Nobody did well in New Zealand but I was confident of doing well in South Africa as I have toured here twice and know what it takes to succeed here." Kaif came to this country earlier with an Indian Under-19 team and with the India 'A' side. But he said playing in a World Cup was an entirely different experience. "This is a great feeling. I have been here before but this is a different ball game. However the approach is the same as is the hunger to do well for thecountry." Kaif reiterated the position of the team when he said it was taking Kenya In all seriousness in its opening Super Six game on Friday. "As a team, we are working hard and looking forward to playing against Kenya. We cannot afford not to take them seriously," he said. PTI

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