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We have worked on Sehwag: Inzamam

Source: PTI
January 19, 2006 21:11 IST
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Drawing the battle lines for the second Test against India, Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul Haq challenged flamboyant batsman Virender Sehwag to unleash his fusillade on bouncy wickets.

Inzamam said although he did give credit to the dashing Indian opener for his innings of 254 in the first Test at Lahore, he felt the placid track had a lot to do with his run-blazing there.

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"I am not belittling his marvellous innings, but the bottom line is that he was batting on a perfect batting track. We will see how he bats on wickets that have something for the bowlers," he said shortly after arriving at the Iqbal stadium in Faisalabad on Thursday for a training session ahead of the second Test, beginning on Saturday.

Defending his bowlers for the whacking they received from Sehwag, the burly batsman said they were a little erratic because they were playing after a month's lay-off.

"We were playing after a month's lay-off and the bowlers were thus erratic. They sprayed the ball all over and you just can't get away with that stuff.

"Naturally, we have worked on Sehwag, but, irrespective of all game plans, we need to be disciplined in our bowling and that's what we would be emphasising on in the future games."

Inzamam disagreed that Pakistan did not gain anything from the Lahore Test and promised more "intensity" from his boys in the second match.

"I think all our batsmen earned useful batting practice while only two India batsmen got batting opportunities. No matter how much you bat in the nets, the real test is when you bat in the middle because there you get to know the bowlers much more.

"As I see things, if we manage to get a couple of quick wickets in the second Test, we will be in a position to put the Indian batting line-up under pressure. But, again, we have to be disciplined while bowling and have to maintain a decent line and length with the new ball," he said.

The Multan batsman said the mood in the dressing room is positive and all the players are looking forward to Faisalabad.

"It has been established that it (Lahore) was a batting track, so I don't see any reason why my boys would be down. They are motivated and you will see their intensity when the second Test begins."

He also played down the war of words between his speedsters and the Indian openers during the fourth day's play in Lahore, saying such altercations are part of the game.

"It was nothing unusual. My bowlers stared at the Indian openers who must have replied with something. I don't think there was anything serious in that. Both the teams are fierce competitors and want to win the games. I don't read anything into those incidents except that it is part of the game."

Pakistan pacer Mohammad Sami and Sehwag exchanged words while Rahul Dravid and Shoaib Akhtar had eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation as Indian batsmen milked Pakistan bowlers while reaching 410 for one in reply to home team's 679 for seven declared.

In both the incidents, no complaint was made to the two field umpires.

Inzamam said his team is aware of the discipline they need to maintain, but said too much censure would rob the game of its charm.

"I am not a big supporter of sledging or insults that are hurled at you. But I don't mind if a bowler glares or stares at the batsmen. During my career, I have faced these situations numerous times.

"Off the field, both India and Pakistan enjoy a healthy relationship and that's the way it should be -- friends off the field and fierce competitors on it," Inzamam said.

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