We are still in the match: Gambhir

India were bundled out for 249 on the opening day of the final Test, but top-scorer Gautam Gambhir thinks the bowlers can make a match of it.

updated: August 12, 2008 17:49 IST
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India have been dumped for a paltry 249 in their first innings but opener Gautam Gambhir believes his team still had a chance to make a match out of it, if bowlers rise to the occasion.

The left-handed batsman from Delhi top scored for India scoring 72 but middle-order cut a sorry figure yet again in the three-match series.

"We should have got a much higher score than what we got at the end of the day. But this is part and parcel of Test cricket. It is a call for win sessions.

"And I think we are still very much in the game if we have one or two early wickets in the morning... we can be right back into the game," he said after the match.

Gambhir though conceded that it was Indian batsmen who are to be blamed for the poor show as the wicket had hardly anything to offer to the bowlers.

"It is a fantastic wicket to bat on to be very honest. There was hardly anything for the bowlers. There was nothing for the fast bowlers. Nothing for the spinners. It is just that we did not bat well. We should have got much more score than what we got," he opined.

The Indian opener also praised debutante Dhamikka Prasad, who took three wickets.

"There was hardly any grass on the surface to be very honest. He bowled very well. He bowled in the right channel. That is what is really important on this kind of a track where there is hardly any help for the fast bowlers. He bowled in the right areas."

The 51-run last wicket partnership between Indian pace duo of Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan also drew praise from the left-hander.

"It is good because at one stage we were 198 for 9 and from there having a 50-run last wicket partnership brought right back into the game and especially after taking one wicket at the end. They really got us back into the game."

On the deadly twin-attack of Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, he said, "If you look at the amount of overs they have bowled in this entire series, those two are going to take the maximum wickets".

On being asked how he was getting runs when India's experienced batsmen were failing regularly, Gambhir credited his success to a positive approach.

"It is very difficult to answer this question because they are very quality players. It is just that I am in very good nick and I am feeling good about myself, feeling good about whatever is happening around my balance, everything.

"That is what is working for me. The important thing is to just go out there and keep doing these things again and again. This is what Test cricket and international cricket is all about," he said.

Gambhir also hoped that that struggling Indian middle order batsmen will fire in all important second innings.

"I think everyone must be analysing what mistakes they are making and they have played enough cricket to analyse what mistakes they are making. It is just that it is important to rectify those mistakes and get on a move ahead. That is what they have to do in the second innings."