The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indian tactics criticised

Napier, Dec. 7 (PTI): Central Districts coach Mark Greatbatch was scathing in his criticism of the Indian thinktank after play ended on the penultimate day of the three-day game at McLean Park here Saturday.

“I’m really disappointed they chose not to bat in the second innings,” said the former New Zealand batsman as he rued the lost opportunity of his bowlers to have a crack at the visiting batsmen.

The home team declared the first innings closed at 295 for nine — a lead of 86 — but the visitors didn’t start their second innings in fading light with 20 overs’ play remaining.

“They have three of the best batters in the world but they don’t want to bat,” said Greatbatch. “Perhaps they want to bat tomorrow when the conditions are sunny.”

Greatbatch was surprised at the approach of the visitors who had expressed their desire to use the three-day game to get themselves in some form ahead of the first Test starting in Wellington on Thursday.

“I’d have definitely liked to have a go at the Indian batsmen. It would be just great if we could force a win against them.”

Sourav Ganguly refused to get drawn into the issue, saying the light wasn’t good enough for them to bat and so the umpires’ offer was accepted.

He said he could have continued with Agarkar after the paceman’s twin strike in an over but decided to give others a chance. “I could have continued with Ajit but wanted others to get some form as well,” said Sourav.

He removed Agarkar just after the medium-pacer had picked two wickets in one over and brought Ashish Nehra into the attack.

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