Kolkata, Dec 2 (UNI) Ace offie Harbhajan Singh while lauding the Pakistani pair of Misbah-ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal for their accomplished batting display said the match was still very much in India's favour.
''I think Misbah-ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal batted really well.
At the start, they were not sure about the pace of the wicket, but once they got in, they batted really well,'' Bhajji said after the day's play.
Lauding Akmal , he said, ''He has really batted well against us. I remember the hundred he scored in Mohali and it was a really good hundred and also the one in Karachi. Then he scored another one in Lahore, but I don't think it was a great hundred because even you guys could have scored a century there. He is a good player, quality player.'' ''Misbah is batting really well. The wickets are slow but he is doing well. He is a good player of spin bowling. He has not played much (international) cricket till now. But as he carries on playing, people will get to know about his weakness. I think he has been batting really in both the ODI series and this Test series now. He is a quality player and let's see how well he does in the long term,'' he said, heaping praise on Misbah-ul-haq who was unbeaten on 108 today.
Asked about the wicket, he said, ''If so many runs have been scored, then obviously the wicket is very good. These are the kind of wickets you get to play. You should be able to bowl on all types of wickets. It is a good wicket for Test cricket as runs are being scored and if you bowl well, you will get wickets too. I wish it had more pace and carry for the fast bowlers so they would have got some encouragement to bowl as well.'' If the game had drifted away from the Indians, he said, ''We were always in the game and we have a good chance to win this Test match and finish off the game here itself. It was just a matter of that getting that one wicket. But credit goes to those two guys, they batted really superbly. We have just to go out tomorrow and get the remaining wickets (quickly) and then decide what to do.'' ''We were always looking to get wickets. As you saw, the wicket is quite good and lot of runs have been scored on it and is still being scored. But if we bowl with a good field we have the advantage of having runs on the board. We all four bowlers were trying to bowl on a good line and length and put the batsmen under pressure and look to take wickets,'' he said.
''The first session tomorrow is very important. We will look to take the remaining four wickets and then decide our planning. This match will surely produce a result. We are still in the driver's seat as we have a lot of runs in hand so will hope to clean up the remaining wickets quickly. We will then make a decision on whether to bat or bowl. We have not yet decided on the follow-on," he continued, talking about India's plan of action tomorrow.
''I think Kumble handled the bowling changes quite well according to the situation of the game. I think I bowled a lot of overs today. Kumble used all the bowlers quite well whenever the situation demanded and his bowling changes were really good," he said, praising his skipper. The duo bowled 18 overs together and always looked threatening.
On the two dropped chances that cost them two centuries.
Misbah was dropped on 22 and Akmal on 87. ''We all realise that catches are obviously important but nobody drops them deliberately. I know that if we had held on to the catches, the situation of the match could have been different now.
But what ever has happened is past now,'' Bhajji said.