Fielding lapses robbed us of the momentum: Kaif
Nagpur, Mar 4 (UNI) India's batting hero in the first innings, Mohammad Kaif today said that fielding had let down the team and did not ''allow us to get the momentum going to be able to put pressure on the Englishmen''.
Speaking to reporters after the fourth day's play -- a day in which England took the match away from India by making only two results possible a win for them or a draw, Kaif admitted that the team had fielded badly on the day.
Himself one of the better fielder of the side, Kaif also said that India did not have the luck today. He, however, was diplomatic while answering a question on the decision to rule the Kevin Pietersen catch as a bumped one.
''We thought he was out and the catch was a clean one. However, the umpire felt otherwise and we respect his decision.'' The Uttar Pradesh batsman added that if Pietersen was given out it would have been the turning point in the game.
He gave full credit to the Englishmen, stating that it was Pietersen who changed the course of the game with that swashbuckling innings.
Centurion Alastair Cook also batted well, he said.
''For a batsman making his debut in alien conditions after being called as a late replacement, Cook batted extremely well in both the innings.'' Kaif, however, did not sound down and said that the team had the confidence that they can turn around the fortunes on the last day.
''For starters, we have to bat well tomorrow and we have been in such situations before and have come out on top. I believe we can do the same.'' Speaking about his own career, Kaif said it was crucial for him to get runs after coming back into the Test team after a gap.
''It was crucial for me to do well for the team and I am happy I could do that. Full credit should also go to (Anil) Kumble who supported me and we got a partnership going,'' he added.
Kaif also said that so far it has been a tough journey with regard to his Test career and added that any player, not just him, should be given a few opportunites to prove himself.
''However, I have no regrets and know I have the ability to play Test cricket.'' On his batting number being changed, Kaif said that ''No player can take a batting number for granted and it depends on the situation on the match and the needs of the team in which you have to perform. I am comfortable at any number,'' he added.
UNI GS MAZ AY RK1958