Pak should have won the Multan Test: Ramiz

Published: Friday, April 2, 2004, 19:01 [IST]
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Lahore:India's maiden Test victory on Pakistan soil ruined a carefully planned strategy to ensure the home side won the first Test at Multan, a top Pakistan official has admitted.

"We wanted to hold the first Test in Multan where we had won both our previous two Tests," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Ramiz Raja said on Friday.

"Even the wicket was not what we wanted. We wanted some grass on it, but when the match started it was totally barren. "Pakistan should have gone one-up at Multan. But now it is the other way around."

India, without injured captain Sourav Ganguly, outwitted the hosts by an innings and 52 runs on the fifth morning of the Multan Test on Thursday to lead the three-match series, their first in Pakistan in almost 15 years.

India rode on a magnificent 309 from Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar's 194 to pile up 675 for five declared, then bowled out Pakistan twice on what was esstentially a good batting wicket.

Raja complimented the Indians, and rued the tourists' decision to play the One-day series, which India won 3-2, before the Test matches. "We wanted to play the Test matches first and even wanted to play a Test in Peshawar where the pitch was conducive to our bowlers," Raja said.

"But India said they would only play a One-day match in Peshawar due to security reasons. We agreed to that rather than see the tour called off." Raja, himself a former Test captain, said Pakistan were capable of bouncing back in the series.

"It is always a huge task to come back after a defeat like this, but if the players feel hurt by the loss they can lift their game in the remaining two Tests," he said.

The second Test starts at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore from Monday. The third Test will be played at Rawalpindi from April 13.

Pakistan coach Javed Miandad, meanwhile, blamed his bowlers for the defeat. "Our strength is bowling but our strength proved to be the weakest link," he said. "Our bowlers allowed them to score 675 runs which put the batsmen under pressure.

"The bowlers could not even keep a good line and length. We can only plan things, but it is for the players to go out there and perform." Miandad, however, refused to blame the wicket at Multan for the defeat.

"We have won on such tracks before and the Indian bowled us twice. So how can anyone say it was loaded in favour of the batsmen?," he asked.

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