Kirsten blasts Indian fielders

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New Delhi, Nov 1 (UNI) Dejected over his team's dismal performance on the fourth day of the third Test, coach Gary Kirsten today lambasted the Indian fielders for missing several crucial opportunities on the field.

The Indians put up a poor show on the field, dropping several catches while their bowlers, with the sole exception of Virender Sehwag, failed to make much headway on the flat wicket.

The greatest beneficiary of their largesse was Michael Clarke, who notched up his first century of the tour after being dropped thrice by VVS Laxman, Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma, and Kirsten admitted the lax Indian fielding enabled the visitors to bat themselves into a safe position.

Speaking to mediapersons at the post-match conference here this evening, Kirsten said, ''It was not a great day for us. We missed one or two opportunities. And definately after missing those, we had to rely on only one opportunity. One really needs to create opportunities to win a Test match.'' ''If we wouldn't have dropped few catches, it would had helped us to trail their score. The first catch was crucial for us, which we missed early this morning. But the second and third catch was missed at that time when the visitors were already able to take their score to past 500,'' he added.

Stating his displeasure with the bowlers, Kirsten said, ''We didn't bowl well today, there was no pressures from the bowlers.

The bowl was not put on right areas. There was also no consistancy, which let the Australians go on with their excellent batting.'' On Indian captain Anil Kumble's effort, Kirsten said, ''He is an incredible part of the team. He has put good efforts. Even after he had 11 stiches in his finger, he made a good comeback.'' ''I hope he will surely get up for the next Test match.'' He added that Virender Sehwag had impressed him with his bowling and gave the bowling attack some much needed bite in the absence of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.

On sending night watchman Ishant Sharma to bat at the third place, he stated, ''This was not different for us. We do it often in every single matches, asking the third or fourth batsman whether want a night watchman. And very few batsman refuse to a night watchman.'' He, however, remained optimistic saying, ''No one knows about the game, and what will be the result.'' ''Now leading by 79 runs in the second innings we need to take ourself to a strong position.'' UNI PY AB PK BST1944

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