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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 March, 2005, 14:18 GMT
India concede psychological impetus
Chris Florence reports for BBC Sport
By Chris Florence
BBC World Service in Mohali

The application and concentration of Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq on the final day of the drawn first Test should be an example to Pakistan's batsmen, at least for the rest of the series.

Kamran Akmal returns to the pavilion after his maiden Test century
Kamran Akmal returns to the pavilion after his maiden Test ton

In Australia their coach Bob Woolmer had tried to impress on his players the basic rule of not chasing wide deliveries.

These two showed just what he had meant as their record seventh-wicket stand saved the match.

Pakistan had been trailing from the first day.

They lost what could easily have been a decisive toss but their total of 312 could have been defended if India's powerful line-up had been put under pressure.

Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were in such devastating form on a shortened second day, however, that the general strength of India's top order was always likely to be a serious factor.

Sehwag's big century - along with the contributions of Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar - steered them in front with eight wickets still in hand.

India would have to be very careless to lose the match from there.

For Tendulkar there was disappointment for himself and his adoring fanatical millions as he came just one big stroke away from a record 35th Test century.

But he still played his role as four of the top six passed fifty.

Anil Kumble is happy to take his 450th Test wicket in Mohali
Anil Kumble is happy to take his 450th Test wicket in Mohali

Many believed that the consistency of the Indian batting would be one of the chief differences between the two sides, but it was certainly not all gloom for Pakistan.

Inzamam-ul-Haq in both innings and Yousuf Youhana in the second displayed why both are such crucial components of their side.

They took advantage of an attacking field-setting on the fourth afternoon but it was still difficult for them after the loss of three early wickets.

Asim Kamal also played two fine innings and of course the efforts of Razzaq and Akmal will be recalled for a long time.

India's seamers were far more effective than their opposite numbers.

True, bowling on a pitch tinged with green on the first day gave them an early advantage.

Pakistan now enjoy the impetus

But even at the start of the second innings, when the surface had flattened, they bowled with more purpose before being beaten by the pitch itself on the final day.

For Lakshmipathy Balaji it was a welcome return to the top level and his nine wickets would have made him a leading contender for Akmal's man-of-the-match award.

Pakistan's decision to go in with just four bowlers is difficult to understand but fortunately for them leg-spinner Danish Kaneria put in a spell he will long remember.

So to Calcutta and the huge crowds of Eden Garden. Here, India have never beaten Pakistan in five attempts.

They may well find it difficult again as Pakistan now enjoy the impetus from their late batting effort in Mohali.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer



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