New Delhi, Nov 26 (UNI) Emphasing that Pakistan was not outclassed in the first Test, coach Geoff Lawson said the middle order batsmen would hold the key for the second Test at Kolkata starting November 30.
The former Australian fast bowler, said, ''Our middle order didn't bat as well as we would have like them to. But both Yousuf and Younis are class act. They know they have to do the business.'' ''The middle order will decide who wins the next Test match,'' he added.
Pondering over the reason for the loss, the 49-year-old said, ''It's not that we were outclass, rather we lost by some key moments.'' ''There were moments when the match could have gone to anywhere.
It's just that our luck deserted us at the last moment,'' he added.
Bemused over the way the pitch behaved during the course of the match, Lawson said, ''We opted to bat first thinking that the pitch will deteriorate in 4/5 days. But Kotla didn't live up to its reputation.'' Lawson was eloquent in his praise for the controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's fantastic return to the side, after ending a 13-match ban for striking fellow paceman Mohammad Asif with a bat before the Twenty20 World Cup in September.
''It's great the way he is bowling after making a comeback to the side. He is improving after competing in the ODI's and he is bowling very fast,'' he said.
Lawson also defended Misbah-ul-Haq's freakish dismissal in both the innings and said, ''He is not well. One can get run out, it has happened to the best players. Even Sachin Tendulkar was run out. He (Misbah) is the top-scorer of the match (from both sides).'' Lawson was not wiling to read too much in the match summary and said, ''India has some quality player. But there is nothing much to choose between the two sides.'' Talking about left-arm speedster Sohail Tanvir, Lawson said, ''He (Tanvir) is a good bowler. He can become a good first change option.
Though we are upset the way he got out. He has scored a couple of first class centuries. We wanted him to stay there.'' UNI