'Our strength proved to be our weakness'

Published: Friday, April 2, 2004, 20:27 [IST]
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Lahore:Admitting that he was "under pressure" after the heavy defeat to arch-rivals India, Pakistan coach Javed Miandad on Friday said the bowling attack turned out to be his team's "weakest link" during the Multan Test.

"India have played like champions and our strength proved to be our weakest link," Miandad said a day after his team suffered its first defeat to India on its home soil.

Pakistani bowlers were touted as "the deadliest attack" but came a cropper on a track where an inexperienced Indian attack got 20 wickets to help their side register a historic win.

"It is disappointing that our strength which is our bowling let us down badly. They allowed the Indians to accumulate runs at will and 675 was a mountain under which we were dumped," said the former cricketer who played 124 Tests for Pakistan.

"If at the international level you need the guidance to control no-balls and line and length, it is amazing." Miandad said the need of the hour was to "lift ourselves" before it was too late.

"I am just as much under pressure as the team is but we all need to lift ourselves, we have staged comebacks in Tests and all we need is a positive mindset and leave the defeat behind us," he said.

"All is not lost and just as batting is out of form at times our bowling is out of form. We have just ten days of cricket left and we need to lift ourselves if we want to salvage our pride," said the coach.

Miandad, serving his third term as coach, also gave full marks to the Indian team for the win. "I must give full credit to the Indian team, the way they performed against the world champions Australia and came with full of confidence and proved that their performance Down-Under was not a fluke,"

Pakistan also lost the preceding One-day series 3-2 to India before the Multan Test.Miandad did not agree that the Multan pitch was to be blamed for his team's defeat. "We have won on pitches like this and Indians proved that if you bowl line and length you can be successful."

Picking Indian opener Virender Sehwag for special praise, for his epic 309, he said, "Sehwag played in a One-day style but with more confidence. It is not a fluke to bat for one and a half day and play strokes like he did,"

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