Test matches are a different ball game: Moin

Published: Friday, April 2, 2004, 20:27 [IST]
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Multan:The Pakistani bowlers may have failed to "surprise" the Indian batsmen in the One-dayers but wicketkeeper Moin Khan contended that their bowling attack could not be written off on the basis of just one series and it would continue to be their strength.

"What remains our strength cannot be changed in just one series. The known fact is that Pakistanis have always produced great bowlers in the history of the game. And against India, it has been mostly their batsmen and our bowlers," Moin said on the eve of the first Test in Multan on Sunday.

The former captain admitted that the bowlers had planned to "surprise" the Indian batsmen in the One-dayers but failed to implement them against a formidable and in-form Indian batting line up.

"We had plans to surprise the Indian batsmen. But our bowlers failed to implement them. It was actually quite frustrating. But the ODI series is a closed chapter. Now, it is time to concentrate on the Test matches and remember the way we played at home and away against big teams like South Africa and New Zealand," he said.

The stumper said the team would have to stick to its plans if it was to come good against an in-form India. "We thought that we had a superior bowling attack in the ODI series. But we all know what happened in the course of the series. Undoubtedly, the Indian batting has the depth and variety to counter the Pakistani bowlers, but we can emerge winners if we stick to a definite plan."

Asserting that there was nothing wrong with tearaway paceman Shoaib Akhtar's bowling, Moin said he was not well supported by the other bowlers that made his job difficult.

"Everything is right with Akhtar's bowling. He is after all our strike bowler. His job is to attack. It does not matter how many runs he gives to the opponents, he is always looking to take wickets. But the rest of the bowlers in the team did not ball too well. They all wanted to get the Indians out and lost control in their bowling."

Recalling the series-decider which gave India a historic 40-run win, their first on Pakistani soil, Moin said the failure of the top order to lay the foundation for the chase was the main reason behind their failure.

"The top-order failed to lay a foundation for the middle-order batsmen. In the end, we tried our best to stay in contention."

"We could not collect that many runs in the first 15 overs. It was something the Indians did in the fourth match. In fact, in that particular match, the Indians lost wickets at regular intervals, but they kept the scoreboard ticking," he added.

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