I wanted to give bowlers a night~~s rest: Lara

Published: Monday, June 26, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Basseterre, St Kitts:West Indies skipper Brian Lara defended his decision of not enforcing the follow on despite getting India all out 20 runs short of the required 382, saying that his pacers were too tired to come again and bowl on the flat track here.

''We have four fast bowlers who were tired bowling on this flat pitch. We don't have spinners who bowl with two three steps and don't use as much energy as pacers. I wanted to give them a night's rest and start fresh tomorrow,'' Lara said defending his decision.

Before the Test series began, India were looked upon as clear favourites to clinch the series and they did put the West Indies under immense pressure in the first two Tests that ended in draws.

Here was a chance for the West Indies skipper to put the Indians to mat but to a decision that defied logic, Lara chose not to enforce the follow on citing the tiredness of his bowlers even though it was a question of only two more hours and the pacers would have got a night's rest after that.

A follow on would have put India under immense pressure to bat for more than 120 overs to save the match. But Lara thought otherwise and has for better part let India off the hook.

Precipitating Lara's problems was also freak injury to fast bowler Pedro Collins, who collapsed towards the end of Indian innings due to cramps.

''I hope his cramps is not that bad and Pedro would come up tomorrow to bowl long spells,'' said Lara.

India would still expect West Indies to declare early tomorrow, but then they won't have enough time to defend the score. Taking 10 Indian wickets in just two sessions or so on this placid wicket looks extremely difficult for the West Indies.

Lara asked for heavy rollers before the Indian innings hoping the pitch might just give way on the last day.

''I am not a curator but I hope that the heavy roller crumbles the pitch a bit and we are able to use the conditions,'' said Lara.

This was the second instance in this Test match that showed the extra defensive approach of the West Indies. On the third day the West Indies looked well set at 400 plus score but Chanderpaul and Samuels scored at snail's pace.

The overs lost then might prove costly to the West Indies as the match heads in to the last day.

Meanwhile, the Indian team was not surprised by the West Indies move.

''It shows how much confidence they have on our batting. The pitch is still batting well Harbhajan and Munaf played brilliantly towards the end. But they looked tired at end and if we get a good target tomorrow we might even go for it,'' said VVS Laxman after scoring a hundred in the first innings.

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