Inzy uses the occasion to whip critics

Published: Thursday, April 8, 2004, 21:49 [IST]
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Lahore:Pakistan's captain Inzamam-ul Haq lashed out at his team's armchair critics, saying he will resign if the negative appraisals did not stop.

Inzamam said his team's series-levelling win in the second Test against India at Lahore was a slap on the face of those former players and commentators who had written off Pakistan after the first Test defeat.

"I am glad the boys have come back in the series because the harsh and negative criticism after we had lost the Multan Test hurt me a lot," Inzamam said on Thursday.

"When a team loses, its supporters should try and lift the morale rather than pull it down.

"I agree with our coach Javed Miandad when he says he will quit if such criticism did not stop. I will also not like to stay as captain if people don't stop their rubbish."

Former Pakistani stars like Imran Khan, Sarfaraz Nawaz and Zaheer Abbas had lambasted the home team after India won the opening Test at Multan by an innings and 52 runs.

Pakistan came back strongly to level the three-match series 1-1 with a nine-wicket win at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on Thursday to set stage for an intriguing battle in the decider in Rawalpindi from Tuesday.

"This is a great achievement by my young team because to come back after a bad defeat showed a lot of character," Inzamam said.

"But we must guard against being complacent because this is a very good Indian team and equally capable of bouncing back."

India's stand-in captain Rahul Dravid admitted his decision to bat first on a greenish wicket may have been wrong in hindsight.

"When we were four down on the first day, I had my worries," said Dravid, who was standing in for the injured Sourav Ganguly.

"In retrospect you can look at a lot of areas when you lose. We wish we had done a lot of things differently like the toss, or we should have batted better or we should have restricted their lead.

"We were not over-confident to bat on a grassy wicket, we have batted under such conditions before and it is not as if this was Headingley or Nottingham where the ball swung a lot.

"It's quite simple. Pakistan played better than us over the first three days and we did not play well."

This was the fourth time in the last three years -- after Zimbabwe, the West Indies and Australia -- that India had allowed the opposition to bounce back after taking the lead in an overseas series.

"Winning the first test and losing the next is definitely an area we must work on," Dravid said. "But I don't think there was any complacency or someone did not work hard after the Multan win.

"The defeat hurt both the team and me personally, but it is up to us to pick ourselves and play to the best of our potential at Rawalpindi."

Dravid will make way for Ganguly, who will return to lead the side in the decisive Test after recovering from a back injury.

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