India eyeing 500 plus in first innings: Laxman

Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Nagpur:Third day's play would be crucial in this first Test match against England and India is eyeing a 500-plus score to seize the initiative from the visitors, said middle order bat V V S Laxman.

Speaking to newspersons after the end of the second day's play at the VCA ground here, the stylish Hyderabadi said it was crucial for the side to build a good first innings score to put pressure on the Englishmen in the last two days when the spinners would come into play.

Laxman also praised Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer, saying that the Mumbai opener played very well today and hoped he continued in the same fashion tomorrow.

Laxman further added that making a comeback was never easy, as he knew it only too well, but Jaffer was confidence personified from the first ball he faced.

''The fantastic domestic season that he has had must have also helped him. I sincerely hope that he continues in the same style for a long time to come,'' Laxman said.

He also refused to blame the bowlers for allowing England reach 393 from 246 for six and instead, said credit should go to Paul Collingwood for the way he played along with the tail.

He said the bowlers bowled well, but with the wicket not offering much assistance they could not do much and on top of it Collingwood played a perfect innings. The bowlers would come into play on the fourth and fifth day, he predicted.

Laxman also had a word of praise for young English spinner Monty Panesar.

''He looks a good spinner and with a bit of more experience would be able to serve England for a long time to come,'' he added.

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