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Butt critical of Dharamsala pitch

Source: PTI
March 06, 2005 13:06 IST
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Pakistan opening batsman Salman Butt brushed aside talk of the team being inexperienced and said the youngsters in the visiting side are keen to use the Indian series as a steppingstone to success.

"Well, we are not going to gain experience sitting outside the ropes. Whether we make a 100 or a duck we have go inside and perform," the 20-year old Butt said.

"And this is the time that is going to help us. These are going to be very good and the most important phases of our career. The earlier we have them the better."

Butt, who made his Test debut against Zimbabwe at home in 2003, must know a thing or two about the significance of performing against after scoring a sparkling century in the Platinum Jubilee one-dayer in Kolkata last year.

The left-hand opener said the century at Eden Gardens as also the ton against Australian on their home soil recently has given him immense confidence going into the high pressure series.

"Definitely it helps. One, in a pressure situation against India and the other against Australia, the World champions in their conditions.

"These are two knocks any Pakistani batsman would like to have to his name, thank God I have them early in my career."

Butt however refused to rate them.

"No, I would not like to choose between either one of them.

"Not one of them is more important to me than the other. Both of them are like dreams coming true at an early age."

The player from Lahore did not agree with the opinion that tracks in India and Pakistan are similar.

He was critical of the pitch at the HPCA stadium in Dharamsala and hoped the wickets for Test matches would be of better standard.

"Not that similar. I have played only on this track; it is a new one and it is very, very low. Even if you plant your front foot, you could play the whole day; that is what I think.

"I don't think this is good for cricket. The one in Kolkata was a good cricketing track. Even in Pakistan the wickets are much bouncier and faster. Hopefully, the wickets in Tests will be much better."

Which of the Indian bowlers did he think would trouble him more?

"Let us see, hopefully it is I who will be troubling them instead of being troubled. Any way, I look at the ball and not the bowler. My target is to play the ball and help the team put up a good score."

Butt said Pakistan's performance in Australia would have no bearing on their show in India and their experience should only help the players improve.

"I don't think playing cricket is going to hamper you. The more you play the better."

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